Masks aren't required when outside, but what's the proper etiquette?

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- It doesn't matter if you're in Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Delaware, the rules are: if you go inside a business, a mask is required. While outside though, masks are only a recommendation, and this is confusing some people.

Marina Grace of Center City says she wears her mask every time she leaves the house.

"It's scary. You just don't know if you're gonna catch the virus or not so you want to be safe rather than sorry," she said.

Frank Sherman of Old City said he also wears his mask outside, but he can't say the same about his neighbors.

"I would feel more comfortable if everybody was (wearing a mask), but I accept that it's a personal choice," said Sherman. "I do actually believe the mask protects other people and I find myself walking around the city trying to decide if I should be annoyed by other people who are not wearing their masks."

That's the outlook some experts want people to take. Even though masks aren't required when outside, they say we should all be thinking about other people.

"What I fear is that people who have underlying health conditions, or who are older, are going to see people outside not wearing masks and say, 'It's not safe for me to go out,'" said Dr. Joe Amon, the director of global health at Drexel University.

He says he believes in order to move to the next phase of beating the coronavirus, masks need to become the new normal.

He also says it's good etiquette to put them on if you're around other people. The mask should cover both your mouth and nose, and it should not be touched once on. He also suggests people carry a spare in case they cough or sneeze into the mask.

"If we're going to move into getting outside of lockdowns and our homes, we need to move into a situation where we're comfortable wearing masks outside," he said.

On Monday, to clear up any confusion, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney kept his message about masks direct.

"Just think about what nurses and doctors and hospital personnel have to go through every day and just put on the damn mask," Kenney said.


Coronavirus: When will southeastern Pennsylvania enter 'yellow' phase?

Doctors in NYC flag mysterious illness in children, many had COVID-19

New COVID-19 testing sites open in Delaware and New Jersey

Trump administration model projects daily coronavirus death toll will increase to 3,000 by June

Grandmother of seven, breast cancer survivor beats extreme case of COVID-19


Full guide: COVID-19 help, information and resources

Keeping Reusable Shopping Bags Sanitized and Germ-Free during COVID-19 Outbreak

How to get groceries, supplies, takeout, online workouts and home projects while quarantining

Things for everyone to do to pass the time at home

Great homeschooling and educational resources for parents and students

Free 6abc printable activities for kids to do at home

Work from home: Here are some companies hiring remote workers


Share your coronavirus story with Action News

Complete coronavirus coverage from Action News
Copyright © 2022 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.