El Paso Mayor: Businesses Must Comply With Masks Mandate
UPDATE (5/1): The recently amended Emergency Directive referenced below has been amended once again. Face coverings are mandatory again. All individuals over the age of two (2), are required to wear some form of face covering over their nose and mouth, while outside of their home or residence.
El Paso Mayor Dee Margo says businesses must require employees to wear face coverings or it could lose its "operational certificate".
Speaking to Mike and Tricia Mornings (93.1 KISS-FM) about the city and state's latest orders designed to slowly reopen the economy, the mayor stated that although the mandate requiring the public to wear face coverings is no more due to the governor's order, the requirement is still in effect for employees of essential businesses, Retail-to-go operations and newly okayed to open businesses.
When asked how enforceable that was now that the governor has said no jurisdiction can impose any type of penalty or fine to those who choose not to wear one, Margo said that only pertained to the public at large.
"A licensed business must comply," he clarified. "And the governor has made the promise that if you don't comply we can remove your operational certificate. Plus there's fines and everything else."
LISTEN: Mayor Margo on Face Coverings Mandate for El Paso Businesses
While masks are referenced numerous times in “The Governor’s Report to Open Texas,” it's never in a you-better-or-you'll-get-in-trouble kind of way. However, in a story published by the Texas Tribune, the media organization referenced a TV interview in which Gov. Abbott was asked about enforcement:
Abbott said all his executive orders during the pandemic have carried a potential punishment of up to a $1,000 fine or 180 days in jail. For the latest order, he said, the "more primary enforcement would be either the local level or the regulatory level," noting a business could lose its license if it does not comply.
Margo as well as county and health officials continue to strongly recommend everyone wear a face mask or covering when out in public.