Everyone is required to stay home, except for essential needs. When out, protect yourself and those around you by wearing a face covering, staying 6 feet away from others, and washing your hands often. Learn more at cityofberkeley.info/covid19. City offices are closed to the public. Some services are available remotely.

The City of Berkeley Health Officer has ordered all residents to shelter at home, leaving only to receive or provide essential services, starting 12:01 am on Tuesday, March 17. See details of the Order, frequently asked questions, and recommendations from Berkeley Public Health at https://www.cityofberkeley.info/coronavirus.

The City of Berkeley web site is undergoing scheduled maintenance starting on Friday night, September 13 and ending on Saturday afternoon, September 14. During this time, most web pages should be available, but some resources may become unavailable for short periods of time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 5/9/19, at 7:00pm? Please visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1UAnZ8kU8EWllREyOY7rwQ/. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 2/28/19, from 6:00 to 11:00 PM? Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same date and time.

PG&E is reporting a widespread outage affecting thousands of customers in Berkeley and many City buildings, including the Finance Customer Service Center and the Permit Service Center. Call respective City services for further details, or check the PG&E outage page. Power is expected to return by 12:45pm. Traffic lights that are not working should be treated as a four-way stop sign.

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General Information

COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Cover your face when out

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Carry a cloth face covering with you whenever you are outside your home, and put it on when others are nearby.

By City of Berkeley Health Officer order, you must wear a face covering when you are:

  • shopping at a store
  • waiting in line to enter a store
  • using or waiting for public transportation
  • in a taxi or rideshare
  • seeking healthcare
  • inside any workplace

You will not be allowed to enter a business or use public transportation if you are not wearing a face covering.

Although masks aren't required when outside, you should always have one with you. Put it on when you are in the presence of anyone you don't live with.

Face coverings protect the people around you

Many people carrying COVID-19 don't have symptoms, but they can still infect others. Covering your nose and mouth when out helps prevent you from unknowingly spreading COVID-19 to others.

Face coverings supplement other COVID-19 precautions. They are not a substitute for other behaviors to slow the spread. You should continue to stay home, keep 6 feet away from others when out, washing your hands often, and practicing other healthy behaviors.

Wearing a cloth mask does not prevent you from being infected by someone else.

Guidelines for face coverings

Your face covering should:

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • be secured with ties or ear loops
  • allow for breathing without restriction
  • be able to be laundered without damage

Do not use masks that have a one-way valve designed for easier breathing (the valves are often a raised plastic disk about the size of a quarter on the front or side of the mask).

These valves allow respiratory droplets out of the mask, which puts people nearby at risk.

When you don't have to cover your face

Face coverings are not required when you are:

  • at home
  • in a car alone or exclusively with members of your household
  • exercising outdoors

Carry a face covering with you when exercising outdoors and put it on when you can't stay 6 feet away from other people.


You do not have to wear a face covering if:

  • you have been advised by a medical professional not to wear a face covering (must have documentation)
  • you have trouble breathing or are not able to take off a face covering without help
  • wearing a face covering would create a safety hazard at work, according to established health and safety guidelines
  • you have a physical disability that prevents you from wearing a face covering

If you are deaf and use facial and mouth movements as part of communication, you can remove your mask while signing.


Children 2 years or younger should not wear face coverings, as this creates risk of suffocation.

Face coverings are optional for children 3-12 years old. Parents and caregivers must supervise the use of face coverings by children to avoid misuse.

Make your own face covering

You do not need to buy any special equipment to comply with face covering requirements. Simple, do-it-yourself face coverings are fine. You can improvise using a scarf, bandana, neck gaiter, t-shirt, or towel.

The CDC has created tutorials on how to make a mask at home:

Don't use surgical masks or N-95s - medical grade masks are needed for health care workers and first responders.

Your mask should be comfortable and allow you to breathe normally through your nose. Make sure it fits well - you should avoid touching your face or adjusting your mask once you've put it on.

Wash face coverings after each use.

Last updated May 11, 2020

Questions? Contact covid19@cityofberkeley.info.

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