AUSTIN, Texas - All businesses in the city of Austin are now ordered to require customers and employees to wear masks.
Mayor Steve Adler has issued a new order that goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. on June 22 and lasts until August 15.
"All businesses (including not-for-profit entities) and commercial entities (including without limitation multi-family residential, office common areas, and individual office spaces), and the operators of any venues or events open to the public, are ORDERED to implement and maintain in force and effect during the term of this Order a health and safety policy or plan related to preventing transmission of the COVID-19 virus," says the order.
According to the order, everyone over the age of six must wear a form of face-covering that fits snugly over the nose and mouth, such as a fabric mask, scarf, bandana, or handkerchief, at all times while outside their home, and especially including but not limited to being inside or in line to enter common areas of any indoor business or public space.
The order outlines the following exceptions to the mask rule:
- when the person is alone, or only around other members of the same household, in a separate room or single space, and not in an indoor common area
- when doing so poses a greater mental or physical health, safety or security risk due to a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability; federal, state, or local workplace safety regulations; or other increased safety risk to the person
- when visibility of the mouth is necessary for communication by or with a person who is hearing impaired
- when the person is outdoors and engaging in an activity allowed by the Governor's Order while alone, or with only members of the same household, or while maintaining social distancing
- when the person is at a restaurant or bar for the purpose of eating or drinking and is otherwise compliant with the requirements of this Order
- when temporary removal is required to receive a service involving the area of the nose or mouth authorized by this Order or the Governor's Order
Parents and guardians of children under 10 are responsible for masking children while outside their home.
The order says that a criminal violation is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000, but not by confinement. Each violation will be considered a separate offense. However, in accordance with Gov. Greg Abbott's directives, individuals can not face criminal or civil penalties, just businesses.
The order also is encouraging all retail, restaurants and bars that allow indoor service and all reopening services to maintain an activity log with contact information of all inside or sit-down customers/employees, including the dates and times they were present in the business and the locations they occupied.
The log shall be maintained only for a month and is the property of the business, not the city. It may only be used by public health authorities if needed for contact tracing and according to the order, will not be part of a database or used for law enforcement purposes.
READ THE FULL ORDER BELOW:
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