Air Force adds to DOD mask guidance

  • Published

Acting Secretary of the Air Force John Roth issued a memorandum Feb. 16 that supplements the Defense Department’s mask policy on military installations while performing official duties.

The updated Department of the Air Force order continues the COVID-19 fight and ensures military preparedness is maintained, he said. The secretary’s memorandum supersedes all previously issued guidance.

The Air Force memorandum reinforces that all individuals on military installations performing official duties on behalf of DOD from any location other than home, including outdoor shared spaces, will wear masks in accordance with current CDC guidelines.

Order Exceptions

1. When necessary to reasonably accommodate religious beliefs.

2. When underlying health conditions prohibit the wear of a face covering and the individual is in possession of medical documentation from a health care provider outlining such a condition and its restrictions on mask wear and face coverings.

3. When outdoors and proper physical distancing can be maintained.

4. When actively participating in physical fitness activities, either indoors or outdoors, and either proper physical distancing is maintained or additional measures are implemented to mitigate the threat of transmission.

5. When an individual is alone in a vehicle or sharing it only with members of their household.

6. When use substantively interferes with the proper wear and use of personal protective equipment necessary for accomplishment of one’s military duties.

7. When personnel are in primary aircrew positions during critical phases of flight and emergencies; or when using flight crew oxygen equipment.

8. When clear or unrestricted visualization of verbal communication is essential to safe and effective operations.

All individuals on military installations are to continue practicing CDC-approved protective measures, such as physically distancing 6 feet apart, wearing masks at all times, washing hands with soap and water frequently throughout the day for at least 20 seconds, and not touching your face with unwashed hands, DOD and Air Force officials stated.

For those wanting to read the entire memorandum, click here.