Miami Beach mandating face masks in public spaces; $50 fine

MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - The City of Miami Beach is mandating face masks in public spaces as the amount of coronavirus cases in South Florida continue to rise.

The new rule goes into effect on Tuesday.

Anyone in public areas where social distancing is not being achieved indoors or outdoors will have to wear a mask.

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said, “Our rule is simple, you must be wearing a mask in our city. On the street, waiting outside a restaurant, in your condo lobby or at the park — wear it. It’s not a political statement, it’s just trying to do your part to keep loved ones and neighbors healthy.”

Anyone who fails to comply will be issued a $50 civil fine.

Facial coverings are not required for children under the age of 2. They are also not required for anyone who has trouble breathing due to pre-existing conditions or anyone who cannot wear a facial covering due to a disability.

Anyone who is actively consuming a food or drink item does not need to wear a mask, and anyone who works in a profession where the mask impedes on their work is exempt as well. Those engaged in strenuous physical activity also do not need a face covering.

“If we all just got on the same page, everybody, we would be able to deal with this, but we’re not,” said Gelber. “We don’t have a lot of tools left in the kit right now, so we’re trying everything we can to stop this spread and reverse what is a very enormous spike in our community and in our state.”

He said the city has been dealing with a problem of compliance from members of the public and businesses.

“Right now, too many people are fighting this,” Gelber.

The mayor said most businesses are following the guidelines, but some have violated new normal regulations.

“About a half a dozen of them we’ve already shut down for at least a day or two,” Gelber said.

In addition, beginning at 11:59 p.m. Monday, all establishments licensed to sell alcohol must stop selling alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption between the hours of 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. daily. Hookah lounges will remain closed.

A press release detailing the new guidelines can be found here.

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