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Fines Up To $2,500 Could Be Imposed On Businesses That Don’t Enforce Mask-Wearing Policies

By Colby Smith

Fines Up To $2,500 Could Be Imposed On Businesses That Don’t Enforce Mask-Wearing Policies

Governor JB Pritzker gave a press conference Friday, which he announced updates on managing the COVID-19 spread in Illinois.

In a press conference Friday, Gov. Pritzker proposed a new set of guidelines intended to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the state of Illinois. Among the initiatives laid out in the new proposal, is a fine for businesses that don’t enforce customers to wear masks.

On August 3, JB Pritzker launched a $5 million multi-media mask awareness campaign aimed at areas within the state most at-risk in the spreading of the virus. During this announcement, the governor commented that he wouldn’t be against fining people who do not wear masks in public without sufficient cause:

“They’re putting other people at risk, so it’s worthy of considering a fine at a local level,” Pritzker said on the occasion. However, he also commented that enforcing this measure would provide difficulty.

Today, the governor introduced a new initiative which focuses on punitive measures for  businesses, child care centers, and schools that violate mask wearing policies as well as gathering size restrictions. This measure does not extend to public individuals. Under the proposal, local law enforcement would be granted more flexibility in carrying out public health guidelines. Pritzker said that the facilities would be granted multiple opportunities for compliance before facing penalties.

“As I’ve visited with and listened to mayors and health departments all across our state, it’s clear there is still an even greater need to get people to wear masks – especially to protect frontline workers, whether they’re at the front of a store asking you to put on your mask or whether they’re responding to 911 calls to save those in distress,” Pritzker said.

Continued failure to meet face mask and gathering size guidelines would result in these establishments receiving fines from $75 – $2,500, and a class A misdemeanor.

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“These rules, which provide multiple opportunities for compliance before any penalty is issued, are a commonsense way to enforce public health guidelines. Illinois has made substantial progress in our fight against COVID-19 because the vast majority of communities and business owners have done the right thing. These rules will help ensure that the minority of people who refuse to act responsibly won’t take our state backward.”

See also: CPS Schools Will Reopen In September With Entirely Remote Learning

[Featured image: @jontyson via Unsplash]