Charleston to strictly enforce mask mandate on Super Bowl weekend

Livability and Tourism Director Daniel Riccio says they began issuing more tickets to people...
Livability and Tourism Director Daniel Riccio says they began issuing more tickets to people violating Charleston’s mask mandate starting on Jan. 11.(Live 5 News)
Updated: Feb. 5, 2021 at 3:06 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston’s Livability Office will partner with Charleston Police in all areas of the city this weekend to enforce the city’s mask mandate.

Livability and Tourism Director Daniel Riccio says his office is asking business owners and managers to be proactive in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“What we want to avoid is obviously the spread of this virus,” Riccio said. “We are asking business owners and managers at these locations to advise their patrons to wear that mask. Let them know before they even get in the door to have that mask.”

Riccio says his officers’ primary function will be to patrol the sidewalks and streets to make sure masks are being worn.

“Those people that are perusing the downtown area, West Ashley and James Island areas, they need to wear their mask,” Riccio said. “It’s a mandate. And pass it on to other people: If you see someone, tell them to wear their mask.”

This weekend’s continued crackdown comes after more tickets started to be written in mid-January around the time Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg announced he was stepping back the city’s reopening plans.

As of Jan. 29, the City had written 432 citations with 301 of those written in the month of January alone.

“Our goal is to have people comply with our ordinance,” Riccio said. “Unfortunately that hasn’t been happening and that hasn’t been adhered to and some citizens, tourists and businesses are receiving citations for not following the ordinance.”

Riccio stressed that the goal of the mandate is not to write tickets but to keep people safe.

“We don’t want to write tickets,” Riccio said. “A perfect enforcement day would be zero tickets. The purpose here is not to generate revenue but to keep people safe in the community.”

The city’s mask mandate was first passed last June and requires anyone in a public place to wear a face covering.

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