Restarting Ohio: Cincinnati City Council passes mandatory mask ordinance that carries $25 fine

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati City Council on Friday afternoon passed an ordinance that requires mandatory wearing of face masks or face coverings throughout the city.

The Queen City is the third major city in Ohio to pass such a law. Dayton passed its ordinance Wednesday evening. Columbus passed its ordinance Thursday.

Both the Dayton and Columbus ordinances take effect today. Cincinnati's takes effect July 9.

Our news partners at report that under the Cincinnati ordinance, masks must be worn indoors in public or congregate settings, including government buildings, retail stores and on public transportation. Anyone who refuses to wear a mask or face covering could be fined $25.

Here are some other frequently asked questions about the Cincinnati ordinance, according to

What happens if I see someone without a mask?

Councilman Greg Landsman encouraged anyone with concerns about wearing a mask to contact the Cincinnati Health Department at 513-357-7200.

What happens if I am the one seen without a mask?

The health department should give you the opportunity to accept one from them, according to the ordinance. You will not be penalized if you agree to wear a mask in this situation.

“We have a scenario where we are passing out way more masks than tickets,” Landsman said. “That’s our goal.”

If you continue to refuse, you will receive a $25 fine.

Is anyone exempt?

Several groups are exempt, including:

Children under 6 years old

Restaurant patrons while eating or drinking

Gym patrons while exercising

Students, teachers and school staff while on school grounds

Employees who cannot safely perform their duties while masked

People who cannot wear a mask because of a health condition, whether mental or physical

Where can I get a mask if I don’t have one already?

Grocery stores such as Kroger and Target sell fabric masks, both online and in person. They can range in price from a few dollars to about $20.

The council vote was 7-2.