FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – A proclamation in the City of Florence is now in effect that requires face coverings be worn in certain places and situations.
The proclamation- which was issued Thursday by City Manager Randy Osterman and Mayor Stephen Wukela- went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday.
“The proclamation is pretty straightforward,” Osterman told News13 Monday. “It says if you have a business, or you go into a business that has public interaction, that the customers and the employees should be wearing face coverings.”
The proclamation specifically names people entering retail and foodservice establishments as needing a face covering while inside.
Those businesses are to require staff to mask-up as well while they are ‘having face to face interaction with the public and while working in areas open to the general public and areas in which interactions with other staff are likely in which social distancing of least six feet cannot be observed.’
“That’s our healthcare professionals’ advisory,” Osterman said. “That’s not something that we just willy-nilly picked out of the air. We’d been told this would help.”
There are several exceptions listed on the proclamation, including for when people are outdoors and able to stay six feet apart, medical conditions, among others.
The proclamation also lists penalties for violations, but those are not enforceable without council voting to ratify the proclamation by the adoption of an emergency ordinance, according to the city manager.
“The proclamation was written following exactly how the ordinance will read,” Osterman said. “We expect that the people will do the right thing and they will follow the guidelines of the proclamation, however it clearly states that until ratified by council, the actions are non-enforceable. It’s an education tool and an advisory tool for our citizens.”
Council is expected to vote at its next meeting on July 13. Officials said waiting until then to take any sort of action would not be ‘in the best interest of the City of Florence and its citizens.’
Many businesses have already posted signage at their doors alerting customers to the new proclamation.
“I think it’s a great idea for the community to come together,” owner of Smart Phone Repair Randy Branch said. “You know make sure everyone else is safe. Have some solidarity with the community members and make sure everyone is well protected and safe during this time.”
Count on News13 for updates at Monday’s city council meeting.
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