Charleston City Council expected to discuss mask ordinance at Tuesday meeting

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 10:19 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston City Council is expected to discuss a mask ordinance at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

The proposed ordinance would require the use of a face covering or mask in all indoor facilities public or private for people ages 2 and up regardless of vaccination status.

Under the proposed ordinance masks would be required in the following settings:

  • Any building open to the public
  • All public and private schools and daycare facilities
  • All restaurants, retail stores that include but are not limited to salons, barber shops, grocery stores, pharmacies, or other buildings open to the public
  • While providing or utilizing public or commercial transportation, including tours
  • When participating in a permitted or allowable gathering

The emergency ordinance would also allow for some exceptions:

  • 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
  • While actively smoking, drinking or eating
  • Any person traveling in their personal vehicles
  • When a person is alone or only with other household members in an enclosed space
  • Customers seated in a restaurant or at a bar so long as they maintain a minimum of six feet from other persons in the establishment
  • For people whose religious beliefs prevent them from wearing a face covering
  • In private, individual offices, or in an office environment when a safe social distancing can be maintained
  • When complying with directions of law enforcement officers
  • For children under 5 years old, provided that adults accompanying said children shall use reasonable efforts to cause those children to wear face coverings indoors
  • In a setting where it is not feasible to wear a face covering, including when obtaining or rendering goods or services such as the receipt of dental services or while swimming
  • In settings where it is not feasible to wear a face covering, such as physical exercise
  • Police officers, firefighters and other first responders when not practical or engaged in a public safety matter of an emergency nature.

The ordinance states the any person found violating the ordinance would receive a warning, then a fine up to $100 for the first offense, up to $200 for the second offense and up to $500 for the third offense.

The ordinance also states that enforcement of the ordinance would come from the Charleston Fire Department, Office of the Fire Marshal, Charleston Police Department, Building Inspections Division and Livability Code Enforcement Officers.

Tuesday’s city council meeting is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. The full agenda can be found here.

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