Ignoring Mask Rules Might Soon Get You Fined In LA
After more than a few incidents of maskless protesting and several conflicts about mask policies between customers and business managers, L.A.'s City Council voted unanimously yesterday to explore implementing actual enforcement for mask-wearing.
The city already has an ordinance that requires residents to wear masks — that's been in effect since April. But it doesn't lay out any fines or punishment for violating that requirement.
Councilmen Paul Koretz introduced the motion, citing soaring rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in the city.
It specifically asks the city attorney to draft an ordinance that would:
"provide fines and penalties for refusal to wear a mask at an indoor public place when requested to do so by management or operators of a facility or establishment ... and provide fines and penalties for refusing to wear a mask while invading someone’s personal space."
Councilman Mike Bonin said the amendment was a direct response to a group of maskless protesters who confronted customers and employees at the Century City Mall in early January.
Videos posted on Twitter showed a group of people mobbing a Ralphs market inside the shopping complex, chanting "no more masks." Some of the protesters got in fights with other customers, before entering a Bloomingdales.
According to Samuel Braslow, a reporter for the Beverly Hills Courier, LAPD showed up eventually but did not try to remove the protesters.
Mayor Garcetti's safer-at-home order also requires city residents to wear masks when outside their homes. It specifies fines of $1,000 or six months in jail for violators. But LAPD hasn't given out any citations.