Councilman suggests penalties for businesses not enforcing mask mandate

Local News

DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — One city council is divided on how to enforce the state’s mask mandate. Decatur city leaders considered mandating masks two months ago, but they dropped it from the agenda. Now, a councilman is suggesting the city go about it a different way.

Councilman David Horn is suggesting they do it through licenses and permits. What that means is, for them to sell liquor and offer video gaming, they would have to require masks for everyone going in or they’d risk losing their license.

He’s also suggesting the same for outdoor dining permits. Horn feels restaurants and bars aren’t doing enough to require masks. He says most are, but not all. And those that don’t, are putting employees and customers at risk. Horn explains his reasoning further on Facebook.

However, some councilmen feel it’s not the city’s place. “A mask, I do not believe should be mandatory. I have full confidence in our community to do what’s right and what’s fair and be respectful to the health of our children and our grandparents and everybody,” said Councilman Bill Faber.

City Administrator Scot Wrighton says the city is working with businesses on enforcement. For example, they’re talking to restaurants that offer outdoor seating on city property and making sure they require masks in order to keep doing that. Even though there is no current mask mandate, all city leaders are asking people to wear them when appropriate.

For some background on this, at the end of April, the City of Decatur discussed an ordinance requiring facial coverings. They considered fining people $250 if they didn’t, but it was dropped from the agenda before the meeting happened. That’s because the city heard from dozens of people who were concerned.

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