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South Florida Now Fining Citizens for Being in Public Without a Mask

Coming soon to a city near you?

As the coronavirus caseload continues to rise again, ushering in a second wave of the global pandemic, many American cities and states are looking for ways to keep their citizens safe.

In Texas, grand plans to usher in a “new normal” have been put on hold as COVID-19 cases explode.  In Arizona, state officials are forcing several different sorts of businesses to close their doors for thirty days.  And, in parts of Florida, the wearing of masks is being codified until further notice.

This includes Jacksonville, host city of the Republican National Convention:  An event that was already moved out of North Carolina on account of that state’s tight COVID-19 restrictions.

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Down in South Florida, it is now possible to be fined for not wearing a mask in public.

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Amid a rising number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Miami-Dade County, the mayor of Miami Beach announced Monday the city would begin issuing fines to those who ignore rules requiring the use of facial coverings indoors and outside if social distance cannot be observed.

The city’s new crackdown does not go as far as its neighbors across the bay in the city of Miami, which requires the use of masks at all times in public except for when exercising, eating or working outdoors or by very young or medically vulnerable groups.

You can still walk your dog along the street, for example, but you’ll need your mask on if you chat with a neighbor along the way.

Violating Miami Beach’s rule may earn you a verbal warning, and subsequent violations will lead to a $50 fine. That’s less than the announced fines in Miami, which start at $50 but can increase to $500 for a third offense.

The ordinance is set to expire on July 1, but, given what we know about Florida’s uphill battle with coronavirus, there is a distinct possibility that the regulation will be extended…perhaps indefinitely.


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