AUSTIN, Texas - Mayor Steve Adler has issued a new supplemental order requiring face coverings in Austin.
The order, which is to supplement Adler's previous order extending the stay-at-home order through August 15, required all businesses providing goods or services directly to the public to "develop and implement a health and safety policy or plan related to COVID-19."
"The Governor has now given us a path and we will act consistent with his statement. Wearing masks is important — to our health and to opening up the economy. I have issued the attached supplemental order directing businesses to come up a simple safety plan over the next several days," said Adler in a statement. "Austin businesses are great and many of them, if not most, have already done this. During this time, we will transition to a more direct order on masks, working with our business community so our whole city moves forward together and so that everyone can get prepared."
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The order says that the plan must require at a minimum for all employees and visitors to wear face coverings while in the business, except in the following circumstances:
- when the person is alone in a separate single space, whether outdoors or indoors
- when the person is in the presence only of other members of the same household, whether indoors or outdoors
- when doing so poses a greater mental or physical health, safety or security risk
- when the person is outdoors doing an allowed activity while alone or with other members of the same household or maintaining a consistent separation of six feet or more
- when the person is eating or drinking in a restaurant or bar
The order requires the plan to be developed and implemented on or before June 23. All businesses must post the plan or policy required by the order in a location to provide notice to employees and visitors.
Adler's order follows Bexar County's decision to require all businesses to develop and implement plans, including requiring face masks. In Bexar County, businesses that fail to follow the order can be fined by $1,000. However, individuals cannot be fined for not wearing a face mask in accordance with Gov. Greg Abbott's orders.
Adler's order does not mention any fines for violations.
FOX 7 Austin is working to keep you up to date with coronavirus, with both local and national developments. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news from around the country at coronavirusnow.com.