LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to increase mask enforcement as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
The motion instructs the Los Angeles City Attorney to draft an ordinance to provide fines and penalties to people who refuse to wear a mask at an indoor public place when requested to do so by the facility's management or operators, and for those refusing to wear a mask while invading someone's personal space.
Councilman Mike Bonin said two recent events contributed to him drafting the amendment.
"At the mall in Century City, crowds of maskless people came in, and they confronted employees, they confronted customers, they were asked to put on masks and they refused to," Bonin said. "We have other situations where people, maskless protesters, are going up to people, getting into people's faces and deliberately using the fact that they are not wearing a mask as an act of aggression."
Bonin's amendment was seconded by Councilman Paul Koretz, who added his own amendment to the motion.
Koretz's amendment instructs departments within the Administrative Citation Enforcement program to prioritize issuing citations for mask violations to people who do not wear face coverings in public and requests a report within 30 days on the number of citations that have been issued, rate of compliance and ongoing challenges.
"It's my understanding that LAPD and Building and Safety and Street Services have been very modestly enforcing the mask mandate included in the mayor's March 19 safer-at-home executive order," Koretz said. "Given our current situation, we need to tackle this issue with renewed vigilance."
The original motion also requested reports within 30 days with information on requiring all city employees to wear masks at all times, including working outdoors, until the end of the pandemic.
The council gave the green light with a 14-0 vote for the city attorney to draft an ordinance, which could include a $250 fine for the first offense and a $500 penalty for the second violation.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)
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