PHILADELPHIA - Last week, the city issued a mandatory mask order at all indoor public places and at outdoor areas where people are less than six feet apart from people who don’t live in their own household.
However, we still continue to see people not wearing them and some people gathering at restaurants and businesses a little too close for comfort.
So, who’s enforcing it?
City officials say Health Department staff in the Office of Food Protection, who conduct restaurant inspections, are looking for compliance with masking and social distancing regulations during their inspections.
Since expanded outdoor dining options became available, city officials say SWEEP teams from the Streets Department delivered warnings and provided information to restaurants with sidewalk cafes and streeteries.
Parks and Recreation is also deploying Social Distancing Ambassadors to remind people of the social distancing and masking recommendations. If there are very large, organized events without masks, residents are encouraged to call 311.
For restaurants, failure to comply with the regulations case cause them to be closed or fined, city officials say. Dr. Farley said fines can be up to $2,000.
Businesses are allowed to refuse service to patrons not following the mask rule. Businesses have refused service to people who don’t wear shirts or shoes for years, this is no different.
As of Monday, the Health Department has not levied any fines for social distancing or masking violations thus far.
If residents observe a business that is not following requirements, they can contact Philly 311, which will notify the appropriate enforcement agency.
The City is strongly encouraging business owners to follow these guidelines because failing to do so endangers their employees and customers -- regardless whether they get caught. City inspectors cannot be everywhere at once.
Since outdoor dining resumed, city officials say Philly 311 has received four complaints about blocked sidewalks related to outdoor dining. The Streets Department also received seven complaints directly.
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