James Island passes ordinance requiring face masks at businesses, organizations

James Island passes ordinance requiring face masks at businesses, organizations
James Island Town Council has passed an ordinance requiring people to wear face masks at businesses and organizations. (Source: Pexels)

JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - James Island Town Council has passed an ordinance requiring people to wear face masks at businesses and organizations.

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.

This includes people entering or inside any retail, restaurant, office, business locations, and government building or facility under the jurisdiction of the town.

In addition, all businesses and organizations are required to comply with the ordinance.

Exemptions include outdoor or unenclosed areas where six-foot social distancing can be maintained, children under the age of 5, patrons while seated and drinking/dining, and for people traveling in their own vehicles.

The town released the following information on the ordinance:

Section 2. Required Face Coverings. All persons who are present within the Town of James Island 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:

A. While entering or inside any retail, restaurant, office or other business location;

B. While entering or inside any government building or facility under the jurisdiction of the Town;

All business and organizations within the Town of James Island are required to comply with this Ordinance, which is applicable to patrons and employees.

Section 3. Exemptions. Face Coverings shall not be required:

A. in outdoor or unenclosed areas where six-foot social distancing can be maintained;

B. for those who cannot wear a face covering for medical reasons;

C. 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;

D. for patrons of restaurants or similar locations while seated and dining or drinking, or while standing and maintaining a six-foot social distance;

E. in private offices;

F. in settings where it is not practical or feasible to use a face covering;

G. for public safety employees when it is not practical to wear a face covering.

H. For persons traveling in their own vehicles.

Section 4. Enforcement.

1) A Uniform Ordinance Summons for violations of this Face Covering Ordinance shall be written only to businesses or organizations that fail to attempt to enforce the Face Covering requirements. Operators of businesses and organizations are entitled to rely on their customers or patrons statements about whether they are exempted from the Face Covering requirements, and businesses and organizations do not violate this Ordinance if they rely on such statements.

2) This Face Covering Ordinance may not be enforced criminally against individual persons, but if a worker, customer, or patron of a business or organization fails and refuses, without good cause or good excuse, to leave immediately upon being ordered or requested to do so by the person in possession of the property or his agent or representative, such person may be charged with a violation of S.C. Code § 16-11-620 ('Entering premises after warning or refusing to leave on request").

While many businesses in the Town had already begun requiring face coverings as a condition of service as recommended by Council last week, this policy is now required. The Town Code Enforcement Officers will cite businesses and organizations that do not require face coverings.

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