The city of Brookhaven is now requiring residents to wear face masks when inside businesses.
Mayor John Ernst’s executive order, signed Thursday, applies to “everyone entering a commercial establishment,” the city said in a statement. The order also requires employees of restaurants, retail stores, salons, grocery stores and pharmacies to wear masks while at work.
“Anyone failing to comply with the order” could be hit with a fine of up to $500, officials said.
“The goal is to prevent the spread of COVID-19, so we are trying to achieve compliance, not writing tickets,” City Manager Christian Sigman said in a statement.
Brookhaven joins a growing number of Georgia cities that have mandated masks.
Those new rules, however, conflict with a statewide order from Gov. Brian Kemp that “strongly encourages” — but does not mandate — the use of masks, and bans local governments from enacting stricter measures to fight the pandemic.
Kemp has not threatened legal action against the local governments bucking his statewide order.
Brookhaven’s order includes several exceptions where face masks are not required:
- In personal vehicles
- In a private home alone or with other household members
- When engaging in socially distanced outdoor physical activity
- When drinking, eating or smoking
“Anyone who is unable to safely wear a face mask for any reason should not go into public spaces,” the city’s statement said. The order also does not apply to children under 10.
DeKalb County and the city of Doraville are considering similar mask ordinances.