LIST: Here’s where face masks are and are not required in public places

LIST: Here’s where face masks are and are not required in public places
Communities across South Carolina have passed ordinances requiring face masks in public places to help slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. (Source: AP)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Carolina continues to increase, communities across the state are meeting to discuss possible ordinances requiring people to wear face masks in public places.

Several communities have already decided on face mask requirements while others plan to meet this week.

Here is a list of the communities that have either made a decision or have called meetings to discuss a possible ordinance:

Andrews

The Town of Andrews will amend requires all patrons to wear “Face-Covering” when entering public business establishments.

“Pastors are encouraged to enforce the same in their respective church. This ordinance will continue to emphasize social distancing in public places as well,” town officials said.”Reminder, night clubs remain on the state and local government’s closure list. This ordinance will become effective 11:59pm tonight, July 2, 2020 until further notice. This ordinance is enforceable by law.”

Beaufort

Beaufort City Council unanimously passed an ordinance requiring face covers for any member of the public who enters a public building, including all stores and restaurants within the city limits Monday morning, city spokesperson Kathleen Williams said. The ordinance also requires employees of such establishments to wear masks.

The ordinance passed at an emergency meeting this morning, and it took effect at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday. It will be in effect for at least 30 days, at which point it will be ended or extended.

“All restaurants, retail establishments of every description, salons, grocery stores, and pharmacies in the municipal limits of the City shall require their employees to wear a face covering at all times that the employees are in any area where the general public is allowed or when the employees must be in close proximity to one another,” the ordinance states. “This requirement also applies to all persons providing or utilizing public or commercial transportation, including tours; and all businesses or employees while interacting with people in outdoor spaces, including, but not limited to, curbside pickup, delivery, and service calls.”

The following people are exempt from the ordinance:

  • Any person who is unable to safely wear a face covering because of age or an underlying health condition, or who is unable to remove the face covering without the assistance of others
  • Any person traveling in a personal vehicle, or when a person is alone or is in the presence of only household members in an enclosed space
  • People who are actively drinking or eating

The ordinance does not relieve business establishments and restaurants from other social distancing requirements imposed by Gov. Henry McMaster’s Executive Orders.

Beaufort County

Beaufort County Council has passed an ordinance requiring an face mask requirements in all unincorporated areas of Beaufort County

The ordinance going into effect on Independence Day will require citizens to wear a face mask and practice social distancing inside commercial and public buildings.

Those not required to wear a mask include:

  • People who are actively drinking or eating
  • Anyone traveling in a personal vehicle
  • Those who are alone or in the presence of only household members while in an enclosed space
  • Anyone younger than two or at the discretion of a parent, custodian or guardian
  • Those who are unable to safely wear a face covering due to age or an underlying health condition
  • Anyone who is unable to remove a face covering without the assistance of others

Bluffton

Bluffton Town Council passed an ordinance Tuesday that makes masks mandatory in certain public settings.

This would also require employees at certain establishments to wear masks as well.

The order took effect on Wednesday at noon. The order would expire on Aug. 31 without any action from council. Council could vote to extend or shorten the order if necessary.

The ordinance is similar to other towns. Masks must be worn in public buildings. Exceptions are made for those eating, drinking, or with medical issues. A fine will be issued to those not complying.

Charleston

The city of Charleston passed an ordinance Thursday that will make wearing face masks in places like restaurants and grocery stores a requirement. That ordinance, passed on June 25, took effect on Wednesday. People who do not wear a mask will first receive a warning and then a $50 fine.

Mayor John Tecklenburg said the city is working with businesses and giving them signs to display about the ordinance.

The ordinance states that the use of a face mask is required for every person within the city for the following conditions:

  • All restaurants and retail stores that include but are not limited to salons, barber shops, grocery stores, pharmacies, or other building open to the public.
  • While interacting with people in outdoor spaces including but not limited to curbside pickup, delivery, and service calls.
  • While providing public or commercial transportation including tours.
  • While walking in public where maintaining a six foot distance between people is not possible
  • When participating in a permitted or allowable gathering

Those exempt from wearing a mask include the following:

  • Any person who is unable to safely wear a face covering due to age, an underlying health condition, or is unable to remove the face covering without the assistance of others;
  • Any person traveling in their personal vehicles;
  • When a person is alone or only with other household members in an enclosed space;
  • While participating in an outdoor physical activity, provided the active person maintains a minimum of six (6) feet from other people at all times;
  • While actively drinking, eating or smoking;
  • In an outdoor or unenclosed area appurtenant to retail establishments or foodservice establishments in which social distancing of at least six feet is possible and observed;
  • For people whose religious beliefs prevent them from wearing a face covering;
  • For children under 10 years old, provided that adults accompanying children ages two through 10 shall use reasonable efforts to cause those children to wear face coverings while inside the enclosed area of any retail establishment or foodservice establishment;
  • In private, individual offices;
  • When complying with directions of law enforcement officers;
  • In settings where it is not feasible to wear a face covering, including when obtaining or rendering goods or services such as the receipt of dental services or while swimming; and,
  • Police officers, fire fighters and other first responders when not practical or engaged in a public safety matter of an emergency nature.

The mayor said the goal of the ordinance is to educate and not have to use enforcement.

The city’s ordinance would remain in effect for 60 days.

Charleston County

Charleston County Council passed an ordinance requiring face coverings in businesses in unincorporated Charleston County.

The ordinance will take effect at 6 a.m. on Friday.

All persons who are present within the unincorporated areas of Charleston County are required to wear an appropriate face covering any time they are in contact with other persons who are not household members in indoor public places and indoor businesses where it is not possible to maintain a six-foot distance from others or where social distancing is not or cannot be being practiced.

This includes the following:

  • While entering or inside any retail, restaurant, office or other business location;
  • While entering or inside any Charleston County Government building or facility;

All business and organizations within the unincorporated areas of Charleston County are required to comply with this Ordinance, which is applicable to patrons and employees.

Section 2. Exemptions. Face Coverings shall not be required:

  • in outdoor or unenclosed areas where six-foot social distancing can be maintained;
  • for those who cannot wear a face covering for medical reasons;
  • for children under five years old, provided that adults accompanying children age two to five shall use reasonable efforts to cause those children to wear Face Coverings where six-foot social distancing is not possible or observed;
  • for patrons of restaurants or similar locations while seated and dining or drinking, or while standing and maintaining a six-foot social distance;
  • in private offices;
  • in settings where it is not practical or feasible to use a face covering;
  • for public safety employees when it is not practical to wear a face covering.

Dorchester County

The mask ordinance is effective at 11:59 PM on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 through Sunday, August 30, 2020, or unless otherwise rescinded or extended by County Council.

The ordinance states that all customers are required to wear face coverings while inside the enclosed area of any retail or food service establishment, and when entering any building open to the public.

Edisto Beach

Edisto Beach’s face mask requirement took effect Wednesday. Masks are now required in retail stores, grocery stores and restaurants, but not on the beachfront.

Face coverings are not required in the following circumstances:

  • While drinking, eating or smoking
  • When wearing a face covering would prevent the receipt of personal services
  • For people whose religious beliefs prevent them from wearing a face covering
  • For people who cannot wear a face covering because of age, an underlying health condition or who cannot remove the face covering without the help of others
  • When a person is 10 years of age or younger

All restaurants and businesses that sell prepared foods and beverages, retail stores, salons, barber shops, grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations and pharmacies must require employees to wear face coverings.

People who do not wear a mask could face a fine of $25. Business employees who do not wear masks as required could face a fine of up to $100.

Folly Beach

Folly Beach passed an ordinance requiring people to wear face masks in all public places. It went into effect on Tuesday at noon.

Face masks are required for people working, living, visiting or doing business within the city when inside a public building, waiting to enter a public building, interacting with other people in outdoor spaces, and when walking outdoors when maintaining a six-feet distance from other people is not possible.

In addition, businesses must require all employees to wear a face mask at all times, and post a visible notice informing customers of the use of face coverings for customers and employees.

Exemptions include children under 3 years old, persons seated at a restaurant, or anyone outdoors who can maintain a distance of six feet from others at all times.

Georgetown County

The ordinance requires all people above the age to 10 to wear a face mask when entering a food service establishment, grocery store, retail store or pharmacy that is located within Georgetown County. Employees at the businesses are also required to wear a face mask at all times while have face-to-face interaction with the public.

A food service establishment is defined as any business that prepares food or drinks. But if a person is actively drinking or eating at the establishment, then they do not have to wear the face mask.

Businesses are also required to post a notification at or near the main entrance that reminds people that they must wear a face mask in the building.

Any person who is unable to wear a face mask due to age, an underlying health condition or is unable to remove the face covering without the assistance of others is exempt from the ordinance.

Georgetown City

Georgetown City Council has unanimously passed an ordinance that will require the use of face masks in all public places.

The ordinance will take effect Friday at 9 a.m.

Goose Creek

Mayor Greg Habib signed an emergency proclamation making face masks mandatory in all Goose Creek businesses.

The proclamation calls COVID-19 a growing threat, and requires all customers in Goose Creek retail and commercial outlets to wear a mask.

Employees must also wear a mask when interacting with the public.

Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island City Council voted to enforce an ordinance requiring the use of face masks in certain parts of the island during a special called meeting Monday morning.

The ordinance requires a face covering that covers the wearer’s nose and mouth in any establishment located in a closed building or other indoor environment that primarily sells or provides goods or services. The ordinance covers retail establishments that include grocery stores, restaurants, lobbies and public spaces in hotels, motels and timeshare complexes, pharmacies, bars, salons, retail stores, medical and dental offices.

The ordinance requires anyone entering a commercial business in the town limits to wear a face covering. Employees must also wear face coverings whenever they are in any area where the general public is allowed or wherever the employees must be in close proximity with each other.

The ordinance provides exemptions for the following people:

  • Any person who is unable to safely wear a Face Covering due to age, an underlying health condition, or who is unable to don or remove the Face Covering without the assistance of others
  • People eating or consuming food and beverages
  • People receiving medical care or treatment

Hilton Head Mayor John McCann said the ordinance would be enforced by the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office. Violations will be considered a misdemeanor and could lead to fines.

Their ordinance takes effect at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday and will remain in effect for 60 days.

Isle of Palms

The City of Isle of Palms passed an ordinance on June 26 requiring face masks be worn at retail establishments and food service establishments which includes grocery stores and restaurants.

The vote was 6 to 2, and it went into effect on Wednesday.

Mayor Jimmy Carroll said the ordinance adds another layer of protection for all the citizens. He said it’s almost impossible to enforce the ordinance, but they’re hoping they can send a message.

“This is a way of showing our citizens and our visitors that we’re trying to take the right steps, and we are taking this very seriously,” Carroll said.

James Island

The ordinance states that people are required to wear an appropriate face covering any time they are in contact with other people who are not household members in indoor public places and indoor businesses where it is not possible to maintain a six-foot distance from others or where social distancing is not or cannot be being practiced.

Kiawah Island

Kiawah Island passed an ordinance requiring masks Monday.

It requires everyone, including employees, entering or waiting to enter any business, club or association facility other than a restaurant to wear a face covering at all times.

Restaurants are required to adopt and enforce the face covering provisions of the Phase Two recommendations prepared and published by the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association. Employees who interact with the public, including both indoor and outdoor dining, must wear a face covering.

All people entering a restaurant establishment or waiting to pick up a carryout order must wear a mask at all times except for when seated for dining or beverage service.

The following are exempted from the requirement:

  • People under the age of 3
  • People for whom a face covering would cause impairment due to an existing health condition or disability
  • People who are actively eating or drinking
  • People in private offices

Those who violate the ordinance may face a $25 fine plus required statutory assessments. Businesses not requiring employees to wear face coverings will be subject to a criminal fine of $100 plus required statutory assessments.

The ordinance took effect Wednesday. It will remain in place until July 28, but will automatically extend for an additional 30-day period, through Aug. 27, unless acted on by town council.

Moncks Corner

The town does not currently have an ordinance requiring face masks. At the moment, there are no immediate plans to discuss one, according to Town Administrator Jeff Lord. Town Council’s next scheduled meeting would not fall until July 21.

Mount Pleasant

The Town of Mount Pleasant passed an ordinance Monday afternoon requiring people to wear a face mask during certain circumstances including when inside grocery stores and pharmacies.

The Monday afternoon vote was 6 to 2, and will go into effect Wednesday. People who fail to comply with the ordinance may be fined.

People will be required to wear a mask when entering a grocery store, pharmacy, town building or town indoor facility. Businesses include retail establishments that sell food, but may also sell other convenience and household goods.

People failing to comply may be fined $25.

Town officials say businesses will not have the responsibility of enforcing the ordinance, but will post signs at all entrances informing patrons for the requirement.

In addition, employees at restaurants, retail stores, salons, barber shops, grocery stores, pharmacies are required to masks. Individuals failing to comply may be fined $100.

Exemptions include people who are unable to safely wear a mask, children under the age of 12, people whose religious beliefs prevent them from wearing a covering, any person in a private or individual office, in settings where it is not feasible to wear a mask like someone swimming or engaging in athletic activities, emergency responders when engaged in an emergency matter.

North Charleston

The ordinance states that people within the incorporated areas of the City of North Charleston are required to wear face coverings when they are in contact with other people who are not household members in indoor public places and indoor businesses where it is not possible to maintain a six-foot distance from others or where social distancing is not or cannot be practiced.

That includes while entering or inside any retail, restaurant, office or other business location, and while entering or inside any city or county government building.

Exemptions include outdoor or unenclosed areas where six-foot social distancing can be maintained, for those who cannot wear one due to a medical condition, children under the age of 5, patrons of restaurants while seated and dining/drinking and in private offices.

Orangeburg

Visitors and employees of these businesses must all wear masks, the ordinance says. However, there are some exceptions.

Under the following conditions, the public does not have to wear a mask:

  • People with underlying health conditions
  • Children under the age of 10
  • Those unable to wear a mask due to religious reasons
  • In outdoor business areas where social distancing is possible
  • While alone in private offices
  • While eating in restaurants (but not while waiting or ordering)
  • In settings where wearing a mask isn’t practical or feasible -- like swimming or while visiting the dentist
  • While only with others in your household

Ridgeville

Ridgeville Town Council has passed an ordinance requiring everyone who lives and enters the town to wear a face mask in all public areas, including retail and restaurants.

The ordinance will be in effect Friday.

Seabrook Island

Seabrook Island Town Council unanimously passed an ordinance requiring face masks to be worn in public. It went into effect Wednesday at noon.

St. George

St. George Town Council has passed an ordinance requiring face masks to be worn in all public retail locations and restaurants. Violators can be fined from $25-$100.

A list of exemptions follows:

  • In outdoor or unenclosed areas appurtenant to Retail Establishments or Foodservice Establishments in which social distancing of at least six feet is possible and observed;
  • For people whose religious beliefs prevent them from wearing a Face Covering;
  • For those who cannot wear a Face Covering due to a medical or behavioral condition;
  • For children under 12 years old, provided that adults accompanying children age two through 11 shall use reasonable efforts to cause those children to wear Face Coverings while inside the enclosed area of any Retail Establishment or Foodservice Establishment
  • For patrons of Foodservice Establishments while they are dining;
  • In private, individual offices;
  • When complying with directions of law enforcement officers;
  • In settings where it is not practical or feasible to wear a Face Covering, including when obtaining or rendering goods or services such as the receipt of dental services or while swimming;
  • While exclusively with members of a family or the same household, and no person other than such family or household is within the same enclosed area.

For more information head to the St. George town website.

Sullivan’s Island

Sullivan’s Island Town Council passed a face mask ordinance at a meeting Wednesday. The ordinance covers retail establishments that include, but are not limited to, grocery stores, convenience stores, and any other establishment engaged in the retail sale of non-prepared food; commercial stores that sell retail goods or services; doctor’s offices, pharmacies and other stores that sell medications or medical supplies or provide medical services; alcoholic beverage stores and laundromats.

Residents will be required to wear face coverings while visiting the establishments and while interacting with people in outdoor spaces including but not limited to parks, playgrounds, fields; tennis, basketball and paddle ball courts; and beach access paths, curbside pickup, delivery, service calls and waiting for entry into an establishment unless they can maintain social distancing of six feet.

All retail and food service establishments must require their staff to wear face masks as well.

Face masks will not be required for the following people:

  • Those who cannot wear a face mask because of a documented medical or behavioral condition
  • Children under the age of 2, provided that the adults accompanying children ages 2 thorugh 10 shall “use reasonable efforts to cause those children to wear face coverings while patronizing an establishment”
  • For patrons of food service establishments only while seated
  • In private, individual offices
  • When complying with directions of law enforcement officers
  • In settings where it is not practical or feasible to wear a face covering, including when obtaining or rendering goods or services such as the receipt of dental services, medical treatment or while swimming
  • While exclusively with members of a family or the same household and no person other than such family or household is within 6 feet

Any person who violates the ordinance faces a penalty of up to $100 and each day of a continuing violation will be considered “a separate and distinct offense.”

The ordinance, which took effect Wednesday, will automatically expire in 60 days unless Sullivan’s Island Town Council extends it.

Summerville

The Town of Summerville has extended an ordinance requiring the public to wear face coverings in establishments including retail and food service businesses.

The ordinance was set to end Thursday night, however town council voted to extend it to August 13.

The ordinance requires all people to wear face coverings while inside retail and food service establishments, professional, or any other establishment where face-to-face interaction occurs.

The use of a mask is also required when entering any public building in town.

People must also wear a face mask when walking in public where maintaining a six-feet distance is not possible.

In addition, employees must wear faces masks for retail establishments including restaurants, retail stores, salons, barber shops, grocery stores, pharmacies or other buildings open to the public.

Exemptions include outdoor or unenclosed areas in which social distancing of at least six feet is possible, for those who cannot wear one due to a medical condition, children under 12 years old, patrons while they are dining/drinking/eating, employees who are separated from customers by a plexiglass or glass shield, settings where it is not practical like swimming, with family members, and emergency responders engaged in an emergency situation.

Violators could received a fine of $25.

Walterboro/Unincorporated Colleton County

The City of Walterboro and Colleton County passed face mask ordinances Monday which requires people to wear face coverings or masks in public places and public buildings.

It went into effect beginning Wednesday at 6 a.m.

People entering a commercial establishment in the city and unincorporated Colleton County must wear a face covering while inside the establishment. People failing to comply can be fined $25.

The ordinance does not apply to religious establishments. However, local government officials say the use of face coverings is recommended during religious activities as well.

All restaurants, retail stores, salons, barber shops, grocery stores, and pharmacies in the city and unincorporated Colleton County must require their employees to wear a face covering at all times while having face to face interaction with the public. Someone failing to comply may be fined $100.

Anyone who is unable to safely wear a face covering due to age, an underlying health condition, or is unable to remove the face covering without the assistance of others is exempt from this ordinance.

Face coverings are not required in the following circumstances:

  • In personal vehicles.
  • When a person is alone in enclosed spaces; during outdoor physical activity, provided the active person maintains a minimum of six (6) feet from other people at all times.
  • When a person is alone or only with other household members.
  • While actively drinking, eating, or smoking.
  • When wearing a face covering causes or aggravates a health condition.
  • When wearing a face covering would prevent the receipt of personal services.

Williamsburg County

The ordinance, which took effect Friday, states anyone entering a grocery store or pharmacy in Williamsburg County must wear a face covering while inside. The ordinance foes not include convenience stores.

All restaurants, retail stores, salons, barber shops, grocery stores and pharmacies in the county must require their employees to wear face coverings at all times while having face-to-face interaction with the public.

Any person who is unable to safely wear a face covering because of their age, an underlying health condition or who cannot remove a face covering without the help of others is exempt.

Anyone who fails to comply faces a $25 fine and a fine of up to $100 per day of a continuing violation of the ordinance. Repeated violations by those who own, manage, operate or otherwise control a business could face the suspension or revocation of any occupancey permit or business license issued to the business where the repeated violations happen.


Check back for updates to this list.

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