DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — The city of Delray Beach is taking another step to fight the coronavirus by requiring everyone to wear face masks before entering certain businesses.
City leaders said the order is all about protecting its residents. The city said anyone going inside grocery stores, convenience stores, restaurants or pharmacies must wear masks.
"This adds one more step to preventing the transmission in our community," Chris Bell, the city's emergency manager, said. "It's a simple easy, free or low-cost step that everybody can take that really will help save lives."
Bell said the emergency declaration is effective Saturday and will remain in effect until the May 1.
To combat the spread of COVID-19, first the city issued an emergency declaration March 13. A week later, all parks and recreational facilities in the city were closed. Then a "stay-at-home" order was issued. After that, the beaches and restaurants were shut.
The reaction to this new order is mixed.
"It's too suffocating," Sandra Hamburger said. "You know, I want to be safe, so that's good, but on the other hand, I don't like that suffocation and when it's hot out I like the freedom."
Nadia Nicotra had a completely different view. She thought requiring masks was a smart move by the city.
"Absolutely," she said. "We have a lot of elderly in the community that we have to protect, right?"
What about those who don't follow the emergency order.
"I think they're going to find that, first of all, the restaurants, grocery stores, retail stores where they have to go, they're going to be the ones enforcing this as well," Bell said.
The city of Boca Raton issued its own requirements for residents wearing masks. Mayor Scott Singer said there are no plans to issue fines or citations for those who do not wear masks in public places.