Face coverings will be compulsory for foot passengers using the floating bridge from Monday to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
The government announced last week that people must wear face masks on public transport from 15 June, when non-essential shops are likely to reopen.
The rules apply to all modes of public transport, including the floating bridge.
The Isle of Wight Council said very young children, disabled people and those with breathing difficulties would be exempt in line with the latest government advice.
Councillor Ian Ward, Cabinet member for transport and infrastructure, said: “The safety and well-being of our staff and passengers is our top priority.
“We must take every precaution as passenger numbers on the floating bridge increase as shops begin to reopen and more people start returning to work.”
Foot passengers will be required to wear a face mask whether they are inside the passenger lounge or upstairs.
Vehicle drivers and passengers do not need to wear masks, providing they stay in their vehicles with the windows closed.
Measures, similar to those installed in Newport town centre, will shortly be put in place in Medina Road, Cowes, and Ferry Road, East Cowes, to help passengers adhere to social distancing guidelines.