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Grand Master's Decisions on Masonic-Sponsored Meetings and Events During COVID-19


COVID-19 Update from Grand Master Jeffery M. Wilkins

January 5, 2021

Dear Brethren,

Unfortunately, as we begin the new year, COVID-19 is again spreading rapidly across our state.

I want to remind all lodges to consult and follow all state, county, and city mandates and guidelines regarding in-person meetings. For example, California’s statewide mask mandate requires that all people, whether vaccinated or not, wear masks at indoor meetings.

I understand that conditions vary from county to county. Different lodges may assess events this month differently. In some cases, lodge masters may reasonably determine that it is prudent to postpone their January stated meeting (in accordance with CMC Section 807.000) or other events this month. The California Masonic Code allows me to authorize virtual stated meetings and other emergency provisions only when a government authority prohibits the ability to hold in-person meetings. I’m not aware of any such prohibition in California. Therefore, I’m asking all lodge masters to use their best judgement when deciding whether to hold in-person meetings and events, and I’m asking all district inspectors to support the master’s decision.

Thank you for your continuing dedication to the craft. I will update you again as soon as warranted. Until then, stay safe and best wishes.

Sincerely and fraternally,


Jeffery M. Wilkins
Grand Master

Resumption of In-Person Meetings; No Further Virtual Stated Meetings

October 14, 2021

Dear Brethren,

During his tenure, Past Grand Master Weiss issued emergency directives allowing lodges to hold virtual stated meetings. His directives were issued pursuant to emergency provisions in the California Masonic Code and in light of the prohibitions against in-person meetings by many California government authorities.

These emergency directives, allowing virtual participation at stated meetings, expired at the close of the Annual Communication on Sunday and now have no force or effect.

This summer, the California Department of Public Health lifted its prohibitions on meeting and events. Counties and cities throughout California have also lifted their meeting prohibitions. I am not aware of any state, county, or city regulation that would prohibit lodges from holding in-person stated meetings (provided, of course, that the meetings are conducted safely and follow guidance with respect to the use of masks, ventilation, proper social distancing, etc.).


  • There is not cause or justification to renew the directives related to virtual stated meetings issued by Past Grand Master Weiss when he was grand master; and
  • Effective immediately, all lodges shall resume in-person stated meetings.
  • In-person stated meetings shall be conducted in accordance with state and local guidance regarding the safe conduct of meetings and gatherings.
  • All lodges shall cease holding virtual stated meetings and cease allowing lodge members to participate virtually in a stated meeting.

It was wonderful to see many of you at Annual Communication last week and celebrate the vibrant return to the in-person practice of Freemasonry.

Sincerely and fraternally,

Jeffery M. Wilkins
Grand Master

Reopening Directive II

Addressing June 15th Removal of State-Imposed Restrictions on Meetings and Events

June 2, 2021

Dear Brethren,

I issued a Reopening Directive on April 14, 2021, which allowed Masonic lodges to resume holding in-person meetings and events, as long as those meetings and events met the requirements imposed by the California Department of Public Health and local health departments.

It is my pleasure to report that the California Department of Public Health intends on June 15, 2021 to lift all of its restrictions imposed upon meetings an events, except for events that exceed 5,000 people.

Accordingly, effective June 15, 2021:

• Masonic Lodges, Masonic Organizations, and Youth Orders may conduct in-person meetings and events in compliance with county and city restrictions, if any. (After June 15, individual counties and cities could choose to continue their own meeting limitations, in which case those limitations would continue in force.)

• Attendees at Masonic meetings and events must comply with any state or county guidance relating to face coverings in effect at the time of the meeting/event.

• Lodges no longer need to provide a Safety Preparedness Plan, unless required by the county.

• Members are not required to show proof of a negative COVID test or vaccination card to attend in-person meetings unless required by the county.

• Until further direction from me, lodges may continue, at their discretion, to hold virtual stated meetings consistent with my October 2020 Directive on Virtual Stated Meetings.

• Today’s Directive supersedes my October 2020 Directive on Masonic-Sponsored Meetings and Events During COVID-19 and my April 14th Directive.

It is now time to take advantage of our new opportunities. I look forward to the unfettered return to in-person meetings and the renewed and vigorous practice of Masonry in California.

My directive has no force or effect after my term as grand master ends.

Sincerely and fraternally,

Grand Master
Masons of California

April 14, 2021

Dear Brethren, 

On April 2, 2021, the California Department of Public Health issued new guidance on gatherings, private events and meetings. This guidance updates California’s COVID-19 Blueprint for a Safer Economy, also known as the state’s reopening plan. The reopening plan assigns each county in California to a risk tier based upon the level of COVID-19 spread in that county. As part of these updates to the state’s reopening plan, indoor private events and meetings will be allowed, with limitations, beginning on April 15 in counties assigned to the red, orange and yellow tiers, but not to the purple tier. 

At a high level, the applicable limitations are: 

  1. Indoor private events and meetings are not permitted in counties assigned to the purple tier.
  2. There must be a guest list and a seating chart for any meeting or event.
  3. Attendees must show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test within the last 72 hours.
  4. The facility must create and implement a COVID-19 site prevention plan.
  5. Under the California mask mandate, attendees must wear a face mask unless they are specifically exempted under the mandate. 

Therefore, I have issued a new directive, effective April 15, 2021. Please read it, as well as the supporting documents, below.

Grand Master’s Directive Regarding Indoor In-Person Meetings and Events

Reopening Guidance for Lodges and Halls and Site Specific Plan Template

Site Specific Plan Template in Word format

Frequently Asked Questions about Reopening Masonic Meetings and Events

COVID-19 INDUSTRY GUIDANCE: Private Venues and Events

LA Department of Public Health Protocol for Private Events

Sincerely and fraternally,



April 2, 2021

Dear Brethren,

Earlier today, we learned the California Department of Public Health will issue new guidance for indoor social gatherings such as our meetings and events.  The new guidance will allow indoor, private gatherings based upon the level of restrictions in place in each county, and it will provide guidance for who can attend and how many can attend.

Next week, I will issue a new directive with details as they pertain to our lodges, Masonic Organizations, and Youth Orders, including procedures for returning to in-person meetings and events.

This is a good step forward in returning to in-person Masonic meetings and activities.  In the meantime, my October 19, 2020 directives remain in force.  You may read them below.   I look forward to sharing more next week.

Sincerely and fraternally,


Grand Master

MARCH 26, 2021

Dear Brethren,

Though this pandemic has been extended much longer than most people ever imagined, we now see the light at the end of the tunnel. As more and more people are vaccinated, the possibility of returning to in-person events seems more likely. However, state and local ordinances still prohibit social gatherings like Masonic meetings and events.  Therefore, my October 19, 2020 directive prohibiting in-person Masonic meeting and events is still in full effect.

I’ve worked with the executive committee and others to prepare a re-opening plan. I will share that plan with you at the appropriate time, and the plan will be implemented as soon as state and local governments determine it’s safe for us to do so.

In the meantime, I recommend that lodge and hall leaders look at the state and local guidance being provided to other sectors like places of worship and movie theaters. It could be that similar requirements will be expected at our meeting places.

Thank you for your continued patience, cooperation, and leadership as we work together through this challenge.

OCTOBER 19, 2021

Grand Master Arthur Weiss has issued two important decisions related to the suspension of in-person Masonic events and meetings; and to holding special and stated meetings and officer elections online.

Please refer to the two links below to download and review the decisions and familiarize yourself with them.

GM Decision on Masonic-Sponsored Meetings and Events During COVID-19

GM Decision on Virtual Stated and Special Meetings

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