South Florida's most populous city is now enforcing its call for residents to cover up when heading outside. Miami's face mask ordinance will go after those who are found not wearing a covering in public. The city is the latest municipality to issue a fine for those in violation.
"This isn't about politics, this is about keeping people safe and healthy," Miami Mayor Francis Suarez tweeted on Thursday. The city commissioners voted to pass the order before he wrote that.
Residents will be given a warning for the first offense. Tickets will come after subsequent offenses, resulting in a $50 fine for the second infraction and a court appearance and upwards of $500 for further violations.
"If they fail to wear masks in public, they're going to get a warning. The second time they'll be fined $50, the third time they'll be fined $150 and could be fined up to $500," Suarez said.
Earlier in the week, the mayor, who has recovered from COVID-19, made wearing a mask in public a requirement for the rest of the city. Now, enforcement will follow for those who don't don the covering.
This isn't about politics, this is about keeping people safe and healthy. Thank you @ChrisCuomo for having me on la… https://t.co/7XjSWvzxGs— Mayor Francis Suarez (@Mayor Francis Suarez)1593092098.0
As with the rest of Florida, Miami has experienced a record-breaking spike in COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks. On Wednesday and Thursday alone, there have been over 10,000 cases of the disease recorded in the state.
This rapid rise has forced cities and counties all over the state to start requiring mask-wearing in public. On Thursday, Palm Beach County began issuing fines for mask violators.
Until further notice, with limited & specific exceptions, facial coverings must be worn in public at all times. For… https://t.co/MI9gd1Kiuh— City of Miami (@City of Miami)1593124800.0
If you want to visit the majestic Florida Keys, you'll have to cover your face there as well. Broward and Martin counties have similar ordinances in place.
Some counties have resisted issuing a mandate, but residents in those counties are taking matters into their own hands. A woman in St. Lucie County recently started a petition to get her county to consider making the change.
There has been some push back on the ordinances, framing the issue as an infringement of their rights. Lawsuits have been launched or considered to try to overturn such measures.
As of Friday, there has been no pending legal action to repeal the ordinance in Miami.