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Local residents react to Panama City Beach’s new mask mandate

Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 4:46 AM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -

If you are heading to a Panama City Beach business, you should be ready to wear a mask, because the new mask ordinance is now in effect.

“Nobody feels good about it but everybody has to do it. We’re trying to be safe,” said Panama City Beach resident Ihor Zinevyzh

“It’s a precautionary measure. Look out for those that are sick, we have to be extra careful. For instance, my mom is one, she has an autoimmune disease,” said Panama City Beach resident Anthony Ulicne.

The ordinance requires customers to wear face coverings inside businesses within city limits. Violators could face fines up to $150.

Panama City Beach Police officers say they plan to do periodic checks. On businesses to make sure employees and customers are following, the new rule officers say their primary goal is to educate the public first, before handing out fines.

“These ordinances have been put in place to help keep people safe,” said Lt. J.R. Talamantez with Panama City Beach Police. “If you do not have a mask, we will provide you one. If you’re not aware of the ordinance we’ll sit down and talk to you about it. We’ll provide you a phone number to call if you have any more questions.”

Some believe the ordinance will not have much of an impact especially since places like the beach have no restrictions.

“The beaches are still open. Many people are just spreading the virus. They don’t know if they have it our not, you can still spread it.”

However, some believe the ordinance is a good step forward and will help slow the spread.

“Everybody may not agree with it but it’s similar to seat belts. It’s put in place to protect others and protect yourself.”

There are businesses, places, and situations that are exempt from the new rule. To learn more about the new ordinance click here.

Copyright 2020 WJHG. All rights reserved.

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