Fact Check

Will Red or Blue Masks Be Required By 'National Mask Code'?

A flyer went viral claiming unvaccinated people must wear red masks and face a range of restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Published Jan 5, 2021

 (Twitter, screen capture)
Image Via Twitter, screen capture
According to a "National Mask Code," unvaccinated people will have to wear red masks, be restricted from travel, voting, and commerce, and undergo a three-month lockdown. Vaccinated people will wear blue masks and be allowed some travel, regulated commerce, automated voting, and required social distancing.

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A flyer making the rounds online in January 2021 claimed people will have to wear color-coded masks based on their COVID-19 vaccination status.

Shared hundreds of times, it claimed that people who are not vaccinated will have to wear red masks and face a range of restrictions — including while voting — and those who are vaccinated will have to wear blue masks.

The flyer outlines a so-called "National Mask Code" saying that those who are unvaccinated will wear red masks, their travel, commerce, and voting will be restricted, and they will be in a three-month lockdown. Those who are vaccinated will wear blue masks, they will be allowed some travel, regulated commerce, automated voting, and be required to practice social distancing.

The flyer appeared to originate from Utah, as the listed phone number (1-800-456-7707) directs one to the Utah Department of Health’s Coronavirus Information Line.

We learned that the information on the flyer, with the exception of the helpline number, is false.

Utah’s official Twitter account for information on the coronavirus responded to the flyer writing, “There are no restrictions based on whether someone chooses to be immunized or not.” The account added, “The state of Utah will never require or ask you to wear a certain color of mask to prove you’ve been vaccinated.”

They directed people to their official website to get more information on COVID-19 vaccines.

Even though U.S. President-elect Joe Biden said he wanted a nationwide mask requirement in late 2020, he actually has no legal authority to implement one. He can pass such a mandate on federal property.

Biden later clarified that he would go to governors and “urge” them to mandate mask-wearing in their states. If governors refuse, he would go to mayors and counties to get local masking requirements in place around the country. Presently, there is no national mandate to wear masks, though different states and regions have a range of rules including masking in public. At least 38 states have mandates requiring people to wear face coverings in public.

Given that this flyer has been rejected by the state of Utah and the information on it is untrue, we rate this claim as “False.”

Nur Nasreen Ibrahim is a reporter with experience working in television, international news coverage, fact checking, and creative writing.

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