The city of Seguin is making it mandatory to wear masks in local businesses.
Seguin Mayor Don Keil announced the order Friday afternoon in a video posted on social media.
“(I’ve) signed an executive order that in some ways makes wearing a face mask mandatory here in the city of Seguin,” he said. “The fact is that the virus is really spiking right now, we see a lot of cases are starting to stack up and it is something I know a lot of people would feel much more comfortable going out in public if a face mask rule is in order.”
While Gov. Greg Abbott has said that city and county officials cannot force people to wear masks nor fine them for not wearing one, they can, in fact, enact orders that require businesses to, Keil said.
“What is allowed though is we can take businesses and ask them to enforce a face mask rule within their business and try to enforce the rules with the businesses,” he said. “I have an executive order that would enact this order for the public.”
In the order, it states that any and all commercial entities must create a policy requiring patrons to wear a mask or face covering when in close contact or close proximity to customers or other employees.
“The policy required to be developed and implemented by this order may also include the implementation of other mitigating measures designed to control and reduce the transmission of COVlD-19, such as temperature checks or health screenings,” the order reads. “Commercial entities must post the policy required by this order in a conspicuous location sufficient to provide notice to employees and visitors of all health and safety requirements. Failure to develop and implement a health and safety policy may result in a fine not to exceed $1,000.”
The face coverings are not needed when exercising or engaging in an outside activity; while driving alone or with passengers of the same household; when it poses a greater mental or physical health threat; while in buildings such as banks; or while eating or drinking.
“Except for the exemptions below, ... all people 10 years or older must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when in a public place where it is difficult to keep 6 feet away from other people or working in areas that involve close proximity with other coworkers,” the ordinance reads. “Face coverings may include homemade masks, scarfs, bandanas, or handkerchiefs.”
While some may not like the order, Keil did ask community members to cooperate with the businesses and be kind to fellow residents.
“Please note that it is really important that these masks are worn so that we can get through this very difficult period of time here in our city,” Keil said. “Please note that the city is very much interested in helping mitigate this disease. We have a lot of efforts going on within our city staff here. It is our No. 1 goal to make sure our citizens are safe.”