‘Targeted enforcement’ of coronavirus face masks, issuing fines set to begin in California city

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A Southern California city will begin issuing fines this week during “targeted enforcement” for failing to wear face coverings in business districts and parks.

Santa Monica, a beach city that next to Los Angeles, said fines will start at $100 for the first offense, $250 for a second and $500 for a third. Administrative citations for businesses start at $500, followed by $750 and $1,000 fines for subsequent violations.

“Once a week, enforcement teams will be doing face-covering education and enforcement in business districts and local parks to keep our community safe,” city spokeswoman Constance Farrell told Fox News.

The city warned of the action Wednesday via Twitter.

“Beginning this week, we’ll be doing targeted enforcement for face coverings in business districts and parks in Santa Monica. Save $100 and save your health by masking up,” the post reads.


Last week, Lane Dilg, the interim city manager and director of emergency services, issued a supplement to the city’s emergency declaration, which was extended through Aug. 31.

Under the directive, businesses can refuse service to anyone not wearing a face covering or who fails to adhere to social distancing measures.

Face coverings must be worn during protests, at a worksite, in public, when patronizing a business, aboard public transportation and inside government buildings. Those with medical conditions or disabilities that prevent them from wearing face coverings are exempt, as well as children under 2 and people swimming or surfing.

“For the most part we are seeing people wearing face coverings, but there are times when people are not,” Farrell said. “We ask everyone who lives or spends time in Santa Monica to be an active part of protecting community health by wearing a face covering.”


A handful of cities are resorting to fines to compel the public to wear face coverings to control the spread of the coronavirus. Houston recently announced it will begin issuing fines that start at $250 for not wearing masks in public.

Similar announcements have been made in California, other parts of Texas, and Florida as those states continue to see a resurgence of COVID-19 infections.

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