Key West city officials voted unanimously on Friday, June 26 to add teeth to its mask requirements.
The city commission approved an ordinance that mirrors its previous emergency directive and requires everyone older than 6 to wear a mask indoors and out whenever they cannot maintain 6 feet of social distance.
“I think our city has one of the most simple and straightforward mask directives,” Key West Mayor Teri Johnston said during Friday’s meeting.
The new ordinance authorizes police and code compliance officers to issue tickets to violators.
“If people pay the included fine, they will not have to return to Key West to appear in court,” City Attorney Shawn Smith told the commissioners, some of whom were concerned about requiring visitors to return to the island for a court appearance.
Businesses that do not enforce the mask rules for its customers and employees are also subject to fines and closures.
“The ordinance…states that any business cited twice for violation of the ordinance will be shut down for a minimum of 24 hours and subject to a full compliance review,” city spokeswoman Alyson Crean said.
Specifically, the new mask ordinance states:
- All persons over the age of 6 while physically located within the city of Key West, and who are away from their residences, shall wear a face covering when not maintaining social distancing from other persons.
- All persons…while on the premises of any business establishment…shall wear a face covering.
- All persons…in the city of Key West, while away from their residence, will carry a face covering capable of immediate use.
- Business owners, managers and employees shall ensure that every individual in that establishment complies with this section. But those owners and managers will not be liable for violations by a customer if the owner or employee has asked the violator to wear a mask, or directed the violator to vacate the premises.
- Persons who are not seated and are on the premises of a business establishment, including bars and restaurants, whether indoors or outdoors, shall wear a face covering at all times.
- People in the privacy of a hotel room or vacation rental need not wear a mask.
- People who are maintaining social distance while outside do not need to wear a mask.
- Patrons of barbershops and salons do not need to wear a mask while seated and receiving services, but anyone not seated or receiving services must cover their
- People in gyms and fitness centers need not wear a mask if they are socially distant. If distancing is not possible, a mask is required.”
- Violators can be punished with a $500 fine and/or up to 60 days in jail if they do not comply with the mask law after receiving a warning. Business owners and employees will not be liable for violations by a customer if the owner or employee has asked the violator to wear a mask, or directed the violator to vacate the premises.