DECATUR, GA — The Decatur City Commission unanimously approved Friday an ordinance requiring individuals to wear masks and protective coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ordinance went into effect Saturday and will remain in place until midnight on August 17, or until it is extended, rescinded, or amended by the City Commission.
Businesses in Decatur are required to post a sign providing notice of the mask requirement to patrons. The required signs are being provided to local businesses by the City of Decatur.
Verbal and written warnings will be given as necessary, said the city. However, there are civil penalties provided in the ordinance, starting at limits of $25 for the first offense, $50 for the second offense and $100 for the third and successive offenses.
This is a summary of the ordinance’s requirements:
Except for limited exceptions, all persons entering a business, a store or a non-profit that provides goods or services must wear a mask or facial covering while inside the establishment. All such establishments must require their employees to wear a mask or facial covering at all times while having face-to-face interaction with the public.
Typical places where masks are required are:
-Restaurants, including indoor and outdoor dining areas.
-Retail shops and stores, grocery and drug stores
-Auto dealerships and repair shops, furniture and department stores.
-Banks, credit unions, and other financial establishments.
-Barbershops, beauty shops, spas, studios and gyms, cleaners and laundromats.
-Convenience stores, service stations, amusement and entertainment establishments.
-Lobbies and common areas of commercial, retail and office buildings.
-Lobbies and common areas of public buildings and structures.
Exceptions include the following:
-In personal vehicles.
-By children under the age of 10.
-While drinking or eating.
-When a licensed healthcare provider has determined that wearing a facial covering or mask causes or aggravates a health condition for the individual.
-When complying with the directions of a law enforcement officer or for the purposes of verifying a person’s identity, such as when purchasing alcohol, tobacco, or prescription drugs or when engaging in a financial transaction.
Though not required for religious establishments, the use of masks and facial coverings is highly recommended during religious activities.
The Decatur ordinance does not require the wearing of masks or facial coverings in all outdoor public places. However, all are strongly encouraged to wear a mask in outdoor environments throughout the City where adequate social distancing cannot be maintained (i.e., at least six feet away from others not in the same household).