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City of Ann Arbor Emergency Ordinance Requires Face Masks & Limits Gatherings

Violations are a civil infraction with a penalty fine up to $250

Archived News Release: August 25, 2020 - ​

On Aug. 24, 2020, Ann Arbor City Council unanimously passed an emergency ordinance that goes into effect immediately and reflects Governor Whitmer's orders requiring masks and the Washtenaw County Health Department's orders limiting social gatherings. Violations of the city's ordinance are a civil infraction punishable with a fine of no less than $100 and no more than $250.

"The direction that has been established for us by the leadership of the Governor and the leadership of the Health Officer here in Washtenaw County is clear," said Mayor Christopher Taylor. “When you're outside, wear your mask. When you're inside, wear your mask. Do not aggregate in groups outside of over 25. Do not aggregate in groups inside of over 10. Wash your hands frequently and do your part to keep our community safe."

The temporary emergency ordinance Section 1:327a (Face Coverings and Gathering Size) to Title 1 of Chapter 15 of the City Code states:  

  • It is the intent of this temporary emergency ordinance to minimize the spread of the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, by requiring the wearing of face coverings and limiting the size of gatherings in the City of Ann Arbor. As authorized by this Chapter and pursuant to the state and local declarations of states of emergency by the Governor and the Mayor in the wake of this global pandemic, this ordinance is enacted for the purpose of protecting the public health, safety, and welfare. Enactment of this ordinance is further intended to bring the City into alignment with policies expressed by the University of Michigan as students return to campus for the fall semester.

Face Coverings

Except as otherwise provided in this section, a person shall wear a face covering that covers the nose and mouth when in the following places:

  • Any indoor public place; Any outdoor place when unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet or more from persons who are not members of the same household; and While waiting for or riding on public transportation, while in a taxi or ride- sharing vehicle, or when using a private car service as a means of hired transportation.

A person who is a parent or guardian of a child 5 years of age or older and under the age of 17 years shall require the child to wear a face covering, unless an exception in this section to the requirement for face coverings applies to the child.

A person waiting in a line to enter any business location shall maintain a distance of at least 6 feet away from other persons who are not of the same household.

Refer to the full text of the emergency ordinance for special exceptions.

​Social Gatherings

A social gathering or organized event among persons not part of the same household is permitted, but only to the extent that:

The gathering or event is designed to ensure that persons not part of the same household maintain six feet of distance from one another; Persons not part of the same household maintain six feet of distance from one another; If it is indoors, the gathering or event does not exceed 10 people; and If it is outdoors, the gathering or event does not exceed 25 people.

No person who owns, leases, or otherwise has control of property shall allow a social gathering or organized event that does not comply with this ordinance to take place on the property.

Refer to the full text of the emergency ordinance for special exceptions.


The ordinance shall expire and have no effect upon the Governor's declaration that a state of disaster or state of emergency is terminated.


Media Contact Information

Lisa Wondrash
Communications Unit Manager
734.794.6000 x41511
[email protected]

Ann Arbor has 123,851 residents, spans 28.97 square miles and is frequently recognized as a foremost place to live, learn, work, thrive and visit. To keep up with City of Ann Arbor information, subscribe for email updates, and follow the city on Twitter and Facebook. The city's mission is to deliver exceptional services that sustain and enhance a vibrant, safe and diverse community.