Everyone must wear face masks inside SC restaurants starting at 5 p.m. Monday, governor orders

Updated: Aug. 3, 2020 at 3:04 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - An executive order requiring everyone inside any restaurant in South Carolina to wear a face covering will go into effect at 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 3.

Gov. Henry McMaster announced the order July 29 in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Under the new executive order, restaurants are now required to follow the guidelines issued by accelerateSC.

That means employees and customers must wear masks in every restaurant across the state -- even if the city or county where the restaurant is located does not have a mask mandate.

Exceptions to the mask mandate that apply to restaurants include:

  • A child who is two (2) years old or younger or a child whose parent, guardian, or responsible adult has been unable to place the Face Covering safely on the child’s face.
  • A person who is seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing impaired in a manner that requires the mouth to be visible.
  • A person with a physical, mental, or behavioral health condition or disability (including, but not limited to, any person who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious or incapacitated, or is otherwise unable to put on or remove a Face Covering without assistance) that prevents wearing a Face Covering, provided that a non-employee or visitor who represents that they cannot wear a Face Covering for one or more of these reasons should not be required to produce documentation or any other form of proof of such a condition.
  • A person who is actively engaged in eating or drinking or obtaining a service that requires access to or visibility of the face.
  • A person for whom wearing a Face Covering would create a risk to the health or safety of the person due to their occupation, job function, or work assignment where wearing a Face Covering would be inconsistent with industry safety standards or protocols or federal, state, or local regulations or guidelines.

The order also prohibits standing or congregating in bar areas of restaurants. Dine-in services at restaurants is now limited to 50% occupancy, as well.

McMaster gave all state, county, and local officials the power to enforce the new order.

The penalty, according to McMaster, is a misdemeanor and violators will be fined up to $100 and/or imprisoned up to 30 days upon conviction.

McMaster is also requiring employees and those who enter government offices to wear a mask while inside the building. The above exceptions also apply to that provision.

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