MYRTLE BEACH — Myrtle Beach's mask mandate will extend through April 30, but no longer requires masks to be worn anywhere other than government and city buildings, according to an executive order signed by City Manager Fox Simons.
The previous mandate, which expires on March 31, requires customers to wear a mask in enclosed areas of retail stores, grocery stores, pharmacies, personal care business, professional services, gyms and fitness centers.
The new executive order takes effect on April 1.
Though the city is no longer requiring masks in certain locations, it still strongly recommend the use of face coverings.
"The city of Myrtle Beach is gravely aware that, here in Horry County, more than 500 people have died in the past year from COVID-19," the order stated. "Individual responsibility — to wear a face covering, to practice good sanitation, to limit contact and to observe health recommendations — is the key to reducing the spread of COVID-19 and to saving lives."
According to the city of Myrtle Beach's website, failure to wear a mask when it's required is considered a civil infraction and is punishable of an up to $100 fine.
Mark Kruea, Myrtle Beach spokesperson, was not able to immediately confirm the exact number of residents who have received a fine but said a handful have.
Exceptions to the mandate are as follows:
A person who is alone, with family or able to maintain a 6-foot distance from others.
Children under the age of two, or parents who are not able to safely put a mask on their children.
- A person who is trying to communicate with someone who is hearing impaired.
A person with a physical, mental or behavioral health condition that prevents them from wearing a mask.
A person whose religious belief prevents them from wearing a mask.
- A person who is eating, drinking or doing a service which requires their face to be seen.
A person is engaged in a physical activity.
- A person who is voting or assisting with the administration of an election.
A person who must remove covering due to identification, surveillance or security measures.
A person who is incarcerated in a correctional institution, short term detention facility as they have their own rules and regulations.
Police and other first responders when it is not practical.
- A person who wearing a face mask would create a risk to their job.