Understanding the state mask order from a business perspective

Colorado Governor Jared Polis issued a 30-day statewide mask order for the state of Colorado effective Friday, July 17. The Executive Order requires everyone in Colorado over the age of 10 to wear a mask or other facial covering while in public indoor spaces. The order is effective for at least 30 days and could be extended.

The state has issued some great resources for understanding the order from a customer's perspective, but from a business owner's perspective, we wanted to highlight some important components below for those who interface with the general public. We know these times are challenging and unprecedented, and the Town of Mountain Village is here for you! Please contact Business Development Director Zoe Dohnal or Police Chief Chris Broady if you have any questions.

While this current order is in effect, businesses are required to refuse service to people who are not wearing masks and who do not qualify for an age or disability-related exemption. Below you will find some language in the state we want to make sure businesses are aware of:

If the customer refuses to wear a face covering, pursuant to Executive Order D 2020 038, the establishment is required to deny admission or services and require the removal of the individual from the establishment. Customers who do not comply with the order are violating a Colorado law and are subject to civil or criminal penalties. Customers who try to enter an indoor business without a mask may be prosecuted for trespassing. If the customer indicates that they are unable to wear a mask or face covering due to facial disfigurement or disability, the establishment must consider other reasonable accommodations such as accomodating contactless transactions or curbside delivery.


  • Patrons do not need a written exemption to prove they cannot medically tolerate a face covering. They must tell the establishment that they cannot medically tolerate a mask. But they need to be aware that if they cannot medically tolerate a mask, they should consider limiting any visits to businesses to protect themselves and others. If help is needed to get groceries or other necessities, they should contact TriCounty Health Network to be connected to local resources that may be able to help you.
  • Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), businesses may offer reasonable accommodations for individuals with medical disabilities that make it so that they can’t wear a mask. This does not require allowing for entry into the business, but could include offering delivery or call-ahead curbside pickup instead of allowing entry into the building or other similar accommodation in accordance with the ADA and guidance issued by the state of Colorado.
  • Signs stating or implying that service may be refused to anyone at the discretion of the business owner are not lawful; the requirement must be applied equally to all customers, and cannot be selectively used, particularly with members of a protected class (i.e. members of a certain race, gender, sexual orientation, etc., who are protected under the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act).

Additionally, here are some more important things for the businesses to keep in mind while the current state order is in effect:

Q: What will happen if I refuse to wear a mask?
A: If you refuse to wear a mask as required in the executive order, you are violating a Colorado law and are subject to civil or criminal penalties.If you try to enter a store without a mask, you may be prosecuted for trespassing.

Q: What happens if a business does not comply with the mask order?
A: A business can be liable for civil and criminal penalties and a licensed business is at risk of losing its business license.

Q: What should business owners or employees do if patrons refuse to wear a mask?
A. Business owners should refuse service to individuals not wearing masks. If the situation escalates, call local law enforcement at 911 or 970-249-9110 (non-emergency dispatch).

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