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Miami enforces face masks with civil penalties starting at $50

(AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
(AP Photo/Dita Alangkara) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

MIAMI – In an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Miami is getting tough on people who are not wearing face masks in public spaces.

On Thursday, Miami commissioners allowed city employees to start issuing civil infractions.

Violators will be issued a verbal warning first. A second offense will result in a $50 fine. A third offense will require a promise to appear in court for the possibility of additional fines.

“The civil infractions that were approved today illustrate the serious situation we find ourselves in,” said Art Noriega, the city manager.

Miami Police Department officers and the Department of Code Enforcement personnel will be issuing the civil infractions to both individuals and properties.

Children who are younger than two years old or people who are exercising outside or doing outdoor work are exempt, but they must practice social distancing of at least 6 feet.

People who are eating or drinking and those who suffer from a medical condition or disability who aren’t able to wear a face mask are also exempt.

The exemption also includes people who are communicating with someone who is hearing impaired and needs to read lips.

Noriega said officers will be also be providing free face masks to those who don’t have one.  

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