NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Less than 24 hours before an ordinance calling for face masks to be worn in public, the City of North Myrtle Beach is answering some of the most pressing questions about the new mandate.
The ordinance states that anyone entering retail businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies or close-contact businesses such as hair salons, barbershops and tattoo parlors must wear a mask while inside. It also requires restaurants and government offices in the city to require employees to wear a mask when having face-to-face interactions with the public.
Violations for the public would be considered as civil infractions and are punishable by fines of up to $25. Businesses who fail to comply could face fines of up to $100 for each violation.
Below are some of the other frequently asked questions about the ordinance, which goes into effect on July 2 at noon. The city’s responses to the questions are below in italics:
- Do customers have to wear face-coverings to enter a restaurant or while in a restaurant?
No, only restaurant employees engaged in face-to-face interactions with customers are required to wear face-coverings.
- Does this law apply to accommodations?
- Do I have to wear a face-covering on the beach or anywhere outside?
- Do I have to wear a face-covering to enter my workout place or gym, and, do I have to wear it while working out?
- Are there exemptions in the ordinance?
Yes. If you cannot safely wear a face-covering because of age or a health condition or you are unable to remove the face-covering without the help of others, you are exempt. Also, a person whose religious beliefs prevent them from wearing a face-covering is exempt.
- Can someone question me if I say I cannot wear a face-covering based on your exemptions?
They should not question you. Once you say you cannot wear a face-covering due to one of the exemptions contained in the law, you should be allowed to proceed.
- You have exemptions in your law. Why include them when people will just take advantage of them?
The exemptions are there to protect the rights of those they apply to. If someone takes advantage of the exemptions, that is unfortunate. We are trying to work together to reduce the surge of confirmed COVID-19 cases here.
- Does this law apply in any way to HOAs and POAs?
- Did the Mayor pass this law?
City Council passed the law. The Mayor is a member of City Council. Each member of City Council has one vote. It was a unanimous vote. The Mayor’s signature appears at the bottom of the document as acknowledgement that the law did pass. This is standard practice for this type of ordinance and this may have led to some public confusion about who did what. By City Code, the Mayor is recognized as head of City government for all ceremonial purposes and by the Governor for purposes of military law. The Mayor also presides over the meetings of the City Council.