County Pinellas imposes masks in indoor public spaces
PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla .– Pinellas County Commissioners on Tuesday approved a new mandatory mask order as COVID-19 continues to be a threat to the community. The ordinance will come into effect on Wednesday, June 24 at 5 p.m.
Parental discretion applies to all minors.
The county council of commissioners voted 6-1 to require masks to be worn in indoor public spaces in Pinellas County.
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Restaurants and bars should distribute customers to avoid congregating. They will only serve seated customers.
Face masks are required for most locations within the county, however, there are a few exceptions:
- The warrant may not conflict with United States disability law.
- This does not apply if a person strictly adheres to social distancing and there are 10 or fewer people on the site who also maintain social distancing.
- It does not apply to government entities such as schools, courthouses or town halls, although these entities are encouraged to develop procedures to protect employees and the public.
- If a person is under the age of 18, the use of a face mask by that person is left to the discretion of their parents, guardian or accompanying adult.
- Religious rituals such as various forms of chanting are permitted provided that social distancing is strictly maintained.
- Exercise during social distance, such as in a gym, is allowed without a face mask.
- Restaurant and bar staff must wear a face mask when on duty and when directly or indirectly preparing food or drink, or serving food or drink, or in contact with customers, regardless where food or drink is prepared or whether customers are inside or outside. Customers can remove their headgear while eating or having a drink while sitting down and socializing.
- Restaurants and bars should position chairs and tables so that groups of at least three feet are six feet apart and patrons are not standing at the bar or congregating in any area.
- Retail employees are required to wear face masks unless they work in an area of the company that is not open to customers and has social distancing measures in place.
The Face Mask Ordinance will also be enforced as a non-criminal violation of the local ordinance, in addition to other enforcement remedies, including:
- A warning
- A non-criminal order violation citation that imposes a fine
- Injunctive relief through a complaint lodged with the Circuit Court
- Arrest for misdemeanor or notice to appear for repeated violations
Anyone who does not wear a mask can be issued a local ordinance violation citation to appear in county court if they refuse to put on a mask after receiving a warning from a law enforcement officer.
Anyone or business who breaks the rules could be fined $ 100 for the first offense, $ 250 for the second offense, and $ 500 for the third offense.