Any sources or psaks about wearing a protective mask outdoors on Shabbos? Is it allowed where there is no eruv?

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    Why wouldn't it be allowed? – robev Apr 24 '20 at 1:16
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    oukosher.org/halacha-yomis/… – wfb Apr 24 '20 at 1:29
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    I don't really understand how surgical gloves or masks can be called clothing. No one wants to be wearing them, they aren't stylish, and they provide no immediate tangible benefit. It's like hooking a bottle of Purell to your wrist: convenient, but not clothing. – Double AA Apr 24 '20 at 1:37
  • The MB brings the Gra about protection as a refuah...see the teshuva I cited – sam Apr 24 '20 at 1:39
  • @doubleAA while I agree with you about masks, I think surgical gloves are different. I personally carry them around with me frequently in the winter time since I suffer from dry skin. I wear them often the whole day, especially if I'm a little sick and washing my hands a lot. I wear them until they break (which might be another halachic problem). – Binyomin Apr 24 '20 at 11:31

Rav Asher Weiss wrote a teshuva concerning wearing gloves and a mask in a reshus harabim in a kuntres on the Corona Virus. It's siman 9. He comes out to be lenient for both, but suggests it may be better to put one's hands in pockets and use the clothing one is wearing to block their mouth to avoid any issues.

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    He did mention one reason he was willing to lean towards the lenient side is relying on the centuries out of date fact there is no real reshus harabim anymore. That certainly makes a difference in some of the hardest hit areas. – user6591 May 17 '20 at 13:25

Per article in theyeshivaworld Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky ruled that currently, since one is obligated to wear a mask due to the guidelines – it is considered a malbush [article of clothing] and one must wear them even on Shabbos and there is no concern of carrying.

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    Is there precedent for required wearing of non garments making them garments? (Perhaps yellow stars in the Holocaust?) – Double AA Apr 24 '20 at 19:16
  • @DoubleAA The Rama talks about yellow... not exactly stars but same idea sefaria.org/Shulchan_Arukh%2C_Orach_Chayim.301.23 – Heshy Apr 24 '20 at 19:18
  • @Heshy nice, but that has to be connected at least superficially to actual clothing – Double AA Apr 24 '20 at 19:20
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    Was he actually paskening that, or was he answering a theoretical question? – DonielF Apr 24 '20 at 20:25
  • @donielf I do not think such a question is theoretical, so why do you think his answer is theoretical? – Gershon Gold Apr 24 '20 at 22:00

This was received from someone who heard from someone who... Take it with a grain of salt. I’m only posting it because it conforms with the opinion of Rav Chaim Kanievsky posted here previously.

In order for one to wear a mask outside on Shabbos where there is no eiruv, one must wear the mask in its usual position over his mouth and nose--and not lower it to his chin or below—notwithstanding that it may be uncomfortable. Otherwise, the mask would constitute a masui—and cannot be worn outside on Shabbos. This p’sak has been confirmed by HaRav Shmuel Kamenetsky, Shlita.


Not a Psak Halacha. Just theoretical.

Based off the Gemara in Shabbos 59, it seems that (aside from pkuach nefesh) it'd be mutar to go out wearing a anti-virus mask, because (it's not a masui/burden) the folks wearing it are respectable people (consider/care about themselves) and therefore they wouldn't take it off in public (due to carona & a 6ft distance protocol). Also, aside from it not being a masui, there are masks being made that are essentially tachshitim/ornaments and thus render them Mutar as well...

Aside from Dina D'malchusah Dina i'm not sure. Although the LAW where i live, is that one may not be in public without a mask.

  • I respectfully disagree with some of your assumptions. Wearing masks aren't comfortable- no one likes wearing it for no reason. And I see here in Israel how many people take them off once they are out of range of other people. This is true even for the nice looking decorative masks- people take them off to get air, to adjust their glasses etc. I'm not addressing what they should be doing, nor how the law affects the question. – Binyomin Apr 24 '20 at 11:28
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    Pikuach Nefesh and Dina Demalkhuta don't matter since you don't need to go outside. – Double AA Apr 24 '20 at 12:41

Rav Yitzchak Abadi ruled that wearing a surgical mask on shabbos outside is prohibited.

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    Where did you see this? – robev Jul 2 '20 at 16:11

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