The Montgomery City Council Tuesday adopted an ordinance sponsored by Councilman C.C. Calhoun requiring face coverings, masks or face shields to be worn in public places in Montgomery to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The ordinance took effect immediately upon passage and supersedes Mayor Steven L. Reed’s executive order from June 17. It will remain in effect for 30 days, unless the Council votes to repeal or amend at its July 21 meeting.
The ordinance requires face coverings, masks or shields to be worn at all times by people over the age of 6 years old who can medically tolerate doing so when in public places with 10 or more people present in Montgomery. It applies uniformly to all people whether customers, clients or employees of businesses — including restaurants, bars and breweries. However, masks or face coverings can be removed to eat or consume a beverage.
Business owners, managers and supervisors are responsible for ensuring employees, customers, clients and visitors observe the requirement. Retail stores are called on to strictly observe and enact 50 percent occupancy limits, per the state’s public health order. Additionally, restaurants, bars and nightclubs are limited to no more than 50 percent of the normal occupancy determined by the fire marshal.
Face coverings or masks are not required for those exercising outdoors – specifically walking/jogging, in the privacy of one’s own home or in one’s own vehicle. Other exemptions include patient medical/dental exam rooms or when wearing a mask poses a greater mental or physical health and safety risk.
Failure to comply with the face covering requirement can result in a $25 fine for individuals or a $250 for businesses. Businesses who fail to comply a second time can be subject to a 14-day suspension of their business license pending a hearing of the Montgomery City Council.
Failure to comply with the occupancy requirement on retail stores is a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, is subject to a fine of not less than $25.00 nor more than $500.00.
Failure to comply with the requirement on restaurants, bars and nightclubs is subject to a fine between $25.00 to $100.00 per person depending on how much the establishment is over permissible occupancy.. Businesses who fail to comply a second time can be subject to a 14-day suspension of their business license pending a hearing of the City Council.
The public can report a business that is not complying with the ordinance by calling the city’s non-emergency number 3-1-1.