Mask Mandate Returns in Boulder County

Boulder County now requires masks indoors—but some businesses may quality for an exemption.

View of Boulder, Colorado looking east under cloudy skies, with Flatiron rock formations in the foreground.
You don't have to mask up while climbing the Flatirons, but you do when you get that post-climb Boulder beer. / Copyright: janusartwork

As Delta continues its brutal march across the South (and every other region of the United States) and Mu has its foot in the door, public health mandates are making a return. Boulder county has issued an indoor mask mandate (with some conditions, including an exception for businesses that require proof of vaccination for staff and customers).

Then take a deep breath―if you can—and keep reading for info on how to advocate for restocking of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund in D.C. as well the industry as a career path here in Colorado.

The following information comes from the Colorado Restaurant Association’s September 3 newsletter. Sign up to receive the full version here.

Boulder County Public Health Order Requires Indoor Masking

At 5 p.m. Friday, September 3, Boulder County Public Health has instituted Public Health Order 2021-08, requiring masks for individuals over the age of two years in all indoor public spaces, including restaurants and bars, during periods of high or substantial transmission of COVID-19, according to the Center for Disease Control’s Data Tracker.

Boulder County is currently in a period of high transmission. The county must move to a period of moderate or low transmission and remain there for 21 days before the mask requirement will lift; at that time, masks will be recommended, not required, although the public health order will stay in place. If Boulder County then moves back into high or substantial transmission for five consecutive days, the order will again require indoor masking. The public health order remains in effect until rescinded.

Boulder County Public Health recommends that businesses and facilities move activities outdoors whenever possible, or increase ventilation by opening windows and doors, running the HVAC, or installing portable air filters. This order does not contain any outdoor mask requirements.

The order also allows, with Boulder County Public Health approval, an exception for indoor public masking for employers, owners, and operators who have voluntarily implemented proof of vaccination requirements for all employees, staff, visitors, and patrons entering their facility (commonly known as a vaccination passport).

Business owners and operators that have already implemented a proof of vaccination policy for all visitors and employees should contact for more information on obtaining approval for a masking exception.

Boulder County Public Health will release more information on the Voluntary Vaccination Passport program and open the application process in the coming weeks, and owners and operators of facilities and indoor public spaces who wish to apply for this program should monitor for more information.

If you have any questions regarding this order, contact the Boulder County Call Center at 720-776-0822 or view the COVID-19 information on BCPH’s website at

Click here for an updated poster that you can hang in your establishment to help enforce this policy. 

RRF Replenishment Update

Colorado’s Congressional delegation has been back in their home districts for the August recess, and, along with our partners at the National Restaurant Association, we are making sure they are hearing about the state of our industry.  We are educating policymakers — and the media — on the rise of the delta variant and its impact on customer confidence in indoor dining, as well as the pandemic debt and overhead burdens restaurants are facing.

A few impactful media hits include this story and this story.

Ultimately, Congress needs to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund to bring the industry more targeted relief. There is a national grassroots activation under way – please add your voice if you have not already.

Congress returns to Washington next week and all eyes will be on the efforts of Democrats to pass a $3.5 trillion spending bill.  There are a number of ways that bill can help – or hurt – the recovery efforts of the restaurant industry; we’ll update you soon on the actions we are taking on that front. 

Restaurant Worker Social Media Campaign: Please Ask Your Teams to Participate

We are working on a public relations campaign that shines a spotlight on the real-life employees who make restaurants what they are: vibrant, fun, welcoming spaces where gratifying work can be found.

We are collecting photos and quotes from restaurant workers (FOH & BOH) so we can show (and tell) the public why they love their jobs — and restaurants as a whole. This form makes it easy for your teams share a photo of themselves in the workplace and a one- or two-sentence quote explaining why they enjoy their jobs.

Please share this form with your employees to help us change the negative narrative surrounding our beloved industry. 

Talk to us! Email your experiences (and thoughts, opinions, and questions—anything, really) to


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