In light of the ongoing rise in cases of COVID-19 across South Carolina, the City of Columbia will now be requiring all residents and visitors to wear protective masks in public places within the city.
This emergency ordinance was enacted by members of the Columbia City Council and will take effect on Friday June 26, 2020. The goal is to require mask usage to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
According to the ordinance all persons entering a commercial establishment in the city must wear a face covering while inside the establishment. The new rule does not apply to religious establishments but the use of face coverings is recommended during religious activities as well.
Furthermore, all restaurants, retail stores, salons, grocery stores, and pharmacies in the city must require their employees to wear a face covering at all times while having face to face interaction with the public.
The new ordinance WILL NOT require masks to be used:
a. In personal vehicles;
b. When a person is alone in enclosed spaces; during outdoor physical activity, provided the active
person maintains a minimum of six (6) feet from other people at all times;
c. When a person is alone or only with other household members;
d. While drinking, eating or smoking;
e. When wearing a face covering causes or aggravates a health condition.
f. When wearing a face covering would prevent the receipt of personal services.
g. When a person is 10 years of age or younger.
Any person who is unable to safely wear a face covering due to age, an underlying health condition, or is unable to remove the face covering without the assistance of others is also exempt from the mask requirement.
Those who do not wear a mask while in a public space will be guilty of a civil infraction and could be fined up to $25.00. Businesses owners who do not provide and require their employees to wear masks could be fined up to $100 per day.
For further details on the new ordinance requiring masks click here.
For information on the proper way to wear a mask click here.