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Palm Springs could revoke business licenses for mask violations

Palm Springs is getting tougher on face coverings for restaurants and other businesses.

The city already has some of the most stringent requirements in the valley, and city officials are now warning that businesses' licenses could be revoked if the rules aren't being followed.

"I think people are just concerned, as they should be, about social distancing and mask-wearing," said Ranz Weinert, owner of Tropicale Restaurant and Lounge in downtown Palm Springs. He says it hasn't been easy to navigate the new face covering and social distancing regulations.

His business has racked up multiple complaints with the city since they reopened in May, though none of them resulted in a violation or citation.

"People are just being overly precautious, which they should be, and they maybe should call out when they see something they don't like so the business can therefore try to fix it," Weinert said.

City Manager David Ready said revoking a business's license is a last resort and the vast majority have been compliant.

"But if hot spots continue and we continue to find that on spot checks or get complaints, we will focus in on a business and if need be, for everyone's safety, we can revoke their business license," Ready said.

A letter was sent to the city's more than 7,000 businesses letting people know that they need to wear their masks in almost all settings, unless at a table or bar. It also lets owners know that they need to refuse service to anyone who doesn't wear a mask – something some have said can lead to uncomfortable interactions.

"Some of the people that don't wear masks are very angry," said Joy Meredith, owner of Crystal Fantasy in downtown Palm Springs. "That puts an awful burden on our shoulders to have to maybe have some conflict with a customer."

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Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.


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