The city of Palm Springs requires face coverings in most public settings. This weekend, visitors and residents took notice of enforcement efforts.
Johanna Herrera, manager of Lush Couture, said on Saturday police circled the area three times using their loudspeaker to remind people to put on their masks.
“It’s really loud," said Herrera. "I can hear all the way in the back of the store, everybody kind of turns around like what’s going on.”
A city spokesperson said the PA announcements are "very effective."
“We were riding our bikes without our masks with my son and nephew and a police officer came by he just gently said wear your mask, friendly but encouraging it," said Shauna Sledge, who is visiting from Colorado.
That visitor said she wasn’t bothered by the polite reminder. City Manager David Ready said police and code enforcement would fine people without masks starting this weekend.
“I do support," said William Van Hemert, a Palm Springs resident. "I know some people might think its extreme but still its a mandate.”
“You really got to take this by a case by case basis too. If somebody is flouting the rules and refuses to follow the law then, that's a problem," said Stephen Monkarsh, owner of Just Fabulous.
City officials say so far, there have been no citations issued. Police officers "approached people not wearing a mask, or not wearing it properly" and asked them to correct it. So far, all people have complied.
“Mostly see people wearing masks some have it half on half off and what not," said Sierra Moore, from La Quinta. "Quite frankly, I am not someone who’s a judger but at the same time let’s just wear our masks please.”
The face covering order in Palm Springs applies to those:
- Outdoors, standing, walking, hiking, bicycling, or running, on any sidewalk that is adjacent to any business establishment.
- In fitness centers (including gyms, yoga studios, and dance fitness studios). Face coverings must be worn at all times within such locations, including while exercising.
- Picking up food, or in-person dining, at a restaurant that is allowed to be open
The order also now requires every hotel, motel, vacation rental, or timeshare to post signs alerting visitors to the city's face covering and social distancing rules. Signs have to be posted at every entrance and exit. Continued violations of the order may result in fines or revocation of business licenses.
Face coverings are now not required to be worn by people who are:
- Outdoors, standing, walking, hiking, bicycling or running, at a location other than on a sidewalk adjacent to a business establishment. However, people must comply with social distancing during these activities, including maintaining at least six feet of separation from other people. People should also have a face covering readily accessible.
- Those with a health condition whose medical provider has advised against wearing a face covering and can provide documentation. In this case, people still have to wear a protective face shield.
- Seated at a table or bar at a restaurant that is allowed to be open. However, if any employee (such as a waiter/waitress, etc.) approaches the table/bar, each person at the table/bar must put on his/her face covering while the employee is present at the bar/table.
Bars across Riverside County currently remain closed, as do dining indoors at restaurants. Outdoor dining is still allowed.
If you would like to make a complaint you can call the "code enforcement hotline" at 760-778-8434.