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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON THE CITY'S MASK ORDINANCE

Post Date:07/28/2020 12:00 PM

PANAMA CITY BEACH COVID-19 BUSINESS REGULATIONS FAQ

EFFECTIVE JULY 27, 2020 AT 5 P.M.

Who must wear a mask?

All persons, including customers, employees and contractors, inside an enclosed business or condo/hotel lobby and elevator in the City must wear a cloth face covering unless that employee is exempt (see below). This does not apply to people when outside.

When does a customer not have to wear a mask?

1. Children under 6 years of age.

2. A disabled person may request an accommodation from any business. This accommodation should be based on the inability to wear a face covering and can include wearing a looser face covering, receiving services or goods outdoors, or removing the face covering.

3. People exercising inside a business. This includes gyms and indoor swimming pools. Masks should still be worn when not engaged in exercise.

4. People inside their hotel room, condo unit, or vacation rental. Masks must be worn in all common areas such as lobbies and elevators.

5. People seated at a table inside a Food Service Establishment. In restaurants and bars, generally, masks should be worn when not seated at your table or when not eating and drinking. This includes waiting for a table, using the restroom, and walking to and from your table.  

Example: A customer ordering counter/bar service must wear a mask while ordering and return to his or her party before removing the mask.

When does an employee not have to wear a mask?

1. Employees working in a part of a business which is not generally open to the public who are able to maintain 6 feet of distance between coworkers do not have to wear a mask.

Example: Workers in an office setting who maintain distancing need not wear a mask. When those workers congregate within six feet for a meeting, they must wear masks.

Note: This exception does not apply to  employees who prepare or serve food and drinks.

2. An individual with a disability as recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act may request an accommodation of the mask requirement. Guidance on this subject can be found at: https://www.adasoutheast.org/ada/publications/legal/ada-and-face-mask-policies.php

3. First responders when engaged in their employment.

4. A person communicating with a person who is hearing impaired.

5. Employees interacting with the public behind a Plexiglas screen and six feet from any other employee may remove his or her mask.

Example: A bartender taking a customer’s order behind a plexiglass barrier may remove his or her mask but should wear a face covering when preparing drinks regardless of the plexiglass barrier.

What signage do I have to provide?

The City has designed and distributed digital copies of signage required to be posted by each business subject to the Ordinance. The signage, in PDF format, shall be posted on the City’s website and on its Facebook page.

Businesses shall be found in compliance with this requirement if:

  1. It posts the signage designed by the City, or substantially similar to that design, conspicuously at all public entry points.
  2. The signage shall be at a minimum of size of 8 1/2 “ x 11” to ensure that it is easily seen and read by the public.

What rules have been placed on waiting areas?

Patrons waiting for service, to be seated at a table, or to check out from a restaurant, bar, retail business, or indoor amusement must be spaced at least six feet from other groups.

A business shall be found in compliance with this requirement if it does the following:

  1. Posts signage in waiting and check-out areas informing patrons of the 6 foot distance requirement.
  2. Clearly marks spaces available indicating where groups may separately congregate.
  3. Makes good faith efforts to ensure that patrons adhere to these requirements.

Do businesses have to screen employees for COVID-19 Symptoms?

Before an employee is allowed to work restaurants, bars, retail businesses, or indoor amusements must question each employee to determine if that person is a danger to spreading COVID-19. The CDC guidelines recommend employees be asked if they are experiencing any of the following:

  • Symptoms of COVID-19
  • Fever equal to or higher than 100.4oF*
  • Are under evaluation for COVID-19 (for example, waiting for the results of a viral test to confirm infection)
  • Have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and not yet cleared to discontinue isolation

What businesses have limited capacity?

Restaurants, bars, retail businesses, or indoor amusements must operate at no more than 50% of building capacity as determined by the Fire Inspector.

Businesses shall be found in compliance with this requirement if:

  1. The total number of occupants of the business’s interior is at or under the 50% indoor capacity number determined by the Fire Inspector.
  2. Consistent with Executive Order 20-139, outdoor service at Restaurants and Bars shall be subject to “appropriate social distancing.” Appropriate social distancing means:
    1. Separation of groups by a minimum of six feet; or
    2. Separation of groups by a full barrier, such as Plexiglas, between tables at closer distances which would effectively stop viral particle transmission between tables.

 What are the penalties?

This Ordinance may be enforced by members of the City’s Police Department, Fire Department, or Code Enforcement Department.

The Ordinance may be enforced against owners or supervisors at businesses in violation as well as individuals.

Any violation of the Ordinance is subject to tiered penalties.

For individuals:

  1. First offense should result in a written warning and education by the City on the mask requirements. Violators without a mask will be provided one by the City.
  2. Second Offense: $50.
  3. Third and all subsequent offenses: $100.

For businesses:

  1. First offense should result in a written warning and education by the City on the mask requirements. Violators without a mask will be provided one by the City.
  2. Second Offense: $250.00
  3. Third and all subsequent offenses: $500 or an order to cease operation for 24 hours.

How do I report violations of this Order?

Violations should be reported to the City Hall at 850.233.5100.

 

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