Masks and face coverings are mandatory in Barrington

New requirement takes effect April 15; violations punishable by $500 fine


Barrington Town Manager Jim Cunha signed another executive order this week — this one requiring all people working in or visiting a commercial or governmental building in Barrington to wear a face mask or fabric face covering.

"For the protection of employees and visitors, effective Wednesday, April 15, face masks or cloth face shields will be required for all customers and employees in commercial or governmental buildings and all visitors to such buildings must wear face coverings over their noses and mouths while performing their work or visiting the establishment," the order states.

It further explains that medical-grade masks are not required, and that people can wear fabric face coverings, such as scarves and bandanas.

It stated that masks are not required in vehicles, while exercising or in private residences.

The order is slightly different than state officials' recommendation to wear face coverings while in public, as this executive order attaches a punishment for violations. Anyone not abiding by this order faces a $500 fine.

The order further states that every day a violation continues is considered a separate violation, and is subject to compounding fines.

Explaining the rule

Mr. Cunha answered some additional questions regarding the order. He said that people doing yard work or just spending time in their yards are not required to wear masks.

He also said that tasks such as filling your car's gas tank with gas would not require a mask.

Mr. Cunha said the order applies to everyone, and that it is "for the protection of the workers as well as the customers."

"Children can spread COVID-19 as easily as adults. Any 'face shield can be used. A scarf, a kerchief,... I would expect that in most circumstances a parent would want to avoid taking their child out in public, although I recognize that is not always possible," he said.

Mr. Cunha added that the town's solicitor did review this order.

"This initiative was taken after recommendations by residents and in consultation with Town Council members, but it was my decision," he said.

2020 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Scott Pickering

Scott Pickering has been on the East Bay Newspapers team for more than two decades, since starting as a reporter for the Sakonnet Times. He's been editor of most of the papers, was Managing Editor of all the papers for many years, and became General Manager in 2012. Today he can be found posting to, steering news coverage, writing editorials, talking to readers, working with the sales team, collaborating on design, or helping do whatever it takes to get the papers out the door. Reach him at