The ordinance requiring you to wear a mask in public in Mobile takes effect Friday, and the city has put together a list of answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions--
Posted July 2, 2020
Why are face coverings required? Face coverings reduce community spread of COVID-19. With more people wearing face coverings, hospitals can continue to provide elective medical procedures and our economy can continue to reopen.
Where are face coverings required? In public places in the City of Mobile and its police jurisdiction.
What is a public place? Any place outside a private home or personal vehicle that is generally open to the public.
How will the City enforce the Ordinance? The purpose of the ordinance is to get voluntary compliance in wearing face coverings to prevent community spread of COVID 19, not to issue citations. Police officers will hand out face masks to promote voluntary compliance. Face masks will be available for pick-up at City police stations and police headquarters, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. (See map below for Mask Distribution locations)
Is there a penalty for violating the Ordinance? Yes. If voluntary compliance cannot be achieved, violators are subject to a fine of $50 for the first offense and $100 for each subsequent offense.
What is a face covering? Something to cover a person’s nose and mouth to stop the spread of droplets while talking, coughing, sneezing, etc.
Is a medical grade face covering required? No. A face covering can be made from a scarf, bandana, or any suitable fabric. The covering may be a plastic face shield.
Do I have to wear a face covering in my home or personal vehicle? No.
Do children have to wear face coverings? Children 10 years of age and under are not required to wear face coverings under the city ordinance. Individual private businesses may potentially develop stricter policies, and the State Health Order of June 30 will control in certain situations.
Do I have to wear a face covering while eating or drinking at a bar or restaurant? No, but servers and employees who interact with customers must wear face coverings. Restaurants and bars may enforce stricter rules requiring customers to wear face coverings.
Are face coverings required at outdoor athletic events? Yes. Players, coaches, officials and spectators must wear face coverings except that players and officials are not required to wear face coverings when directly participating in the athletic activity.
Are face coverings required at retail stores and in their parking lots? Yes, retail stores and their parking lots are public places where face coverings are required.
Are face coverings required while riding in a bus, taxi, Uber, Lyft, or other public transportation? Yes. Face coverings are required for transportation services.
What is social distancing? Maintaining a physical separation of at least 6 feet between people from different households. Are face coverings required while on sidewalks or in parks? Yes, if social distancing cannot be achieved.
Are face coverings required when groups of friends get together or at other gatherings? Yes, if the gathering is not at an individual’s home and people in the group are not members of the same household and social distancing cannot be achieved.
Are face coverings required at places of worship? Organizers of religious gatherings are strongly encouraged to read and implement the Alabama Department of Public Health’s “Guidelines for Places of Worship,” see Page 4.
Are face coverings required at barber shops, hair salons, nail salons, spas, tattoo parlors, massage therapists, or other close contact service providers? Yes for all employees while providing services within 6 feet of a customer. Providers may enforce stricter rules requiring customers to wear face coverings.
Are face coverings required at fitness centers and gyms, or at yoga, barre, or spin or other athletic classes? Yes for all employees interacting with clients or guests. Providers may enforce stricter rules requiring clients or guests to wear face coverings.
Are face coverings required at music or other entertainment venues? Yes for all employees who interact with customers or guests. Venues may enforce stricter rules requiring customers or guests to wear face coverings.
Are face coverings required at child care facilities? Yes, to the greatest extent practicable for all employees when in regular interaction within six feet of children and guests.
Are face coverings required at day and overnight youth summer camps? Not for the campers, but employees, to the greatest extent practicable, must wear face coverings when interacting with campers and guests.
Are face coverings required during medical and dental procedures? Yes. Doctors, dentists and health care professionals will provide appropriate directives in their offices, and may allow the removal of face coverings for patients to receive dental, medical and other treatments.
Are face coverings required when wearing one poses a safety or security risk? No, safety risks include working on a ladder or at height, wearing other respiratory protections, engaging in heavy physical exertion, operating heavy equipment or operating in an environment where a face covering hinders operations. Security risks include activities or transactions where identifying the customer or employee is important.
Can a business that requires face coverings for all customers ask a customer who is not wearing a face covering to leave? Yes.
When does the ordinance go into effect? 5:00 p.m. Friday, July 3, 2020
(Photo credit: Ronnie Bloodworth)