The Metro in Washington, D.C. announced that all passengers must now wear masks or face coverings.

Prior to the new rule, Transit management had only suggested that riders wear masks.

Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said that while the overwhelming majority of riders already comply voluntarily, the requirement is viewed as a necessary step as Metro plans for an eventual recovery with more riders using the system.

"Every person who wears a face covering on Metro is helping to keep others safe, and this is especially important for Metro's frontline employees. In the age of Covid-19, we all share a responsibility for frontline worker safety, and that's what this is all about," Wiedefeld said.

The requirement to wear face coverings applies in all Metro stations, trains, buses, and MetroAccess vehicles. Per the CDC, face coverings may include bandanas, scarves, neck gaiters or homemade coverings easily made from t-shirts or other materials at minimal cost, it said.