As Alabama begins to reopen some businesses and beaches on April 30, a new directive has also been announced. On Tuesday, Mayor Randall Woodfin mandated that residents of Birmingham are required to wear a mask or face covering in all public places during the COVID-19 health emergency. The decision goes into effect May 1 with a penalty for those who don't follow the measure.
According to the press release, failure to comply with the ordinance will leave violators stuck with a fine of up to $500 and even up to 30 days in jail.
Masks are required for children who are two and older.
The mandate is meant to be treated as a curfew violation, Woodfin says, with the ability to either pay a fine or appear in court.
The ordinance doesn't require the masks to be medical-grade, but rather defines them to be "a device to cover the nose and mouth of a person to impede the spread of saliva or other fluids during speaking, coughing, sneezing or other intentional or involuntary action.”
Mayor @randallwoodfin has proposed and the Birmingham City Council has approved an ordinance to require the wearing… https://t.co/gdLOVGhWDB— City of Birmingham (@City of Birmingham) 1588091044
Exceptions to the ordinance include individual outdoor exercise like walking and jogging, or when wearing one poses a significant mental and physical threat to the individual.
Also, while they do require children to wear a mask, the city acknowledges that it can cause a choking hazard for young children. So they suggest parents use a stroller with a covering so children can breathe freely or leaving them at home.
When some random person runs over for a hug like social distancing ain’t real life right now. 🤣😂 #GiveMeSixFeet… https://t.co/b15BrIyszt— Randall Woodfin (@Randall Woodfin) 1585339029
The city has been under a shelter-in-place ordinance since late March to help slow the spread of novel coronavirus, which was later extended on April 3.
I know that these are uncertain times, but Birmingham made its name by overcoming the odds. We'll get through this… https://t.co/vtS28rZ3xw— Randall Woodfin (@Randall Woodfin) 1584563380
Birmingham has not announced whether they will extend the city’s shelter-in-place order. It’s set to expire on April 30.