Wearing a Mask on Shabbat

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Dear Rabbi Simon
Can I wear a mask outside on Shabbos?

Dear Mendy
Thank you for your practical and contemporary question. If you are wearing a mask in accordance with widely-accepted public health recommendations, ie to inhibit the inhalation and spread of Coronavirus, there are grounds to allow doing so on Shabbos, even in the absence of an eruv.  One may apply the logic of SA OH 301:37 (and MB 138) to this case. Ditto for nitrile (surgical) gloves.
Best wishes and “control the virus” to stay healthy
Rabbi Rashi Simon

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Ask the Rabbi: Quinoa on Pesach
Dear Rabbi Simon,
Where do you stand on quinoa (and the kitniyot ban) for Pesach?
Many thanks,
Dear Tzippy,
In line with other American authorities, I am in favour of quinoa. Although I reject completely the voices (mostly from Israel) seeking to abolish the ban on kitniyot entirely, IMO we do not need to include in the prohibition pseudo-grains that were unknown in the Old World until modern times. Best to buy with a Pesach hechsher though, to be free of any possible wheat contamination.
Rabbi Rashi Simon
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