Pensacola mayor issues order requiring patrons, employees wear masks inside businesses

Coronavirus

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson announced Friday residents and employees will be required to wear masks inside businesses within city limits starting at 5 p.m.

Robinson issued a Declaration of State Emergency making wearing masks required.

The order, a media release says, is in response to “a rapid increase of COVID-19 cases in the Pensacola area and in accordance with the recent Public Health Advisory issued by the State Surgeon General, along with the recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that cloth face coverings be worn in public settings where social distancing is difficult to maintain.”

This order applies to City of Pensacola limits and includes the following:

— An individual in a business must wear a face covering while in a business establishment.

— All persons who own, manage, or are employed by a business located in the city must wear a face covering while on-duty and having direct or indirect customer contact, including persons working in a kitchen or otherwise preparing or serving food or beverages to customers.

— Businesses must post signage that says a mask must be worn.

The city says the following people are exempt from the order:

— A child under 6 years of age.

— A person who has one or more medical conditions or disabilities that prevent wearing a face covering, including anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance. A person asserting this exception for medical conditions or disabilities is not required to carry or produce documentation verifying the health condition to a business or law enforcement.

— A person who is communicating with an individual who is hearing impaired who needs to see the mouth of the person speaking to facilitate communication.

— An individual who is obtaining a service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service.

— Public safety, police, fire, and other life safety and health care personnel whose personal protective equipment requirements are governed by their respective agencies.

— A person in a federal, state, or Escambia County government building.

— A person exercising while observing at least 6 feet of distancing from other persons.

— Persons while eating or drinking. It is the intent of this provision that a face covering be worn while traversing a business for ingress and egress, to use the restroom facilities, and while standing when persons are unable to maintain at least 6 feet of distancing.

— Business owners, managers, and employees who are in an area of a business that is not open to customers, patrons, or the public, provided that 6 feet of distance exists between persons. This exception does not apply to employees who are present in the kitchen or other food and beverage preparation area of a business – those persons must wear face coverings.

— An individual in a lodging establishment who is inside of the lodging unit, including, but not limited to, a hotel room, motel room, vacation rental unit, timeshare unit, or similar unit.

The city will hold a special meeting Tuesday at 5:30 to discuss an extension of the mayor’s order.

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