Coronavirus, News

City of Charleston mandatory mask ordinance

Face mask | Photo by the CHStoday team

In an emergency meeting on Thursday evening, Charleston City Council approved an emergency ordinance requiring face coverings in public areas throughout the city of Charleston to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19. The ordinance will go into effect Wednesday, July 1 and will remain in effect for 60 days.

The ordinance will affect those within the city limits. Unsure of where those lie? Check out this map.

So when will masks be required?

Inside public buildings and public and private businesses, including but not limited to restaurants, retail stores, salons, barber shops, grocery stores, and pharmacies
Interacting with others outdoors within six feet of each other
Public and private transportation, including tours
Walking in public when it isn’t possible to maintain six feet of distance from others
While participating in permitted gatherings

When do I not need to wear a mask?

In personal vehicles
In an enclosed space when you’re only with members of your household
During outdoor physical activity, as long as you maintain six feet of distance from others
While eating, drinking or smoking
If you have an underlying health condition

The ordinance also requires all grocery store, restaurant, pharmacy, retail store and salon employees to wear a mask at all times when interacting with the public.

Those who are unable to wear a mask due to age, an underlying health condition or cannot remove the mask without assistance are exempt from the ordinance.

The ordinance is a fine-only offense and will be enforced primarily by educational efforts by civilian officers with the city’s Livability Department. After a warning, violating the ordinance will be punishable as a civil infraction with a fine of $50

Additionally, the City Council voted to extend the COVID-19 state of emergency currently in effect in the city of Charleston until July 15.

View the entire ordinance here.

Don’t have a mask? Learn how to make your own here.