NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas — Mask up, New Braunfels.
The city is requiring face coverings for the first time since the coronavirus crisis started, via an order from Mayor Rusty Brockman that is effective immediately but allows businesses time to prepare before enforcement begins on Monday.
Everyone over the age of 10 is being asked to wear a mask, scarf or bandana when in public and social distancing cannot be maintained. Businesses in the city limits are required to implement mask policies for their employees and customers, mirroring orders in nearby Bexar County.
“Making this decision on behalf of our community is not something that I take lightly. But this order comes after a lot of consultation with local health authorities, business leaders, city staff, and fellow council members," Brockman said. "Each person I have spoken with has shown great care and concern—not just for their own families, but for the wellbeing of the residents of this community. The health and safety of our residents is the top priority, and this order is the right thing to do to take care of our community.”
There are some scenarios where you do not have to wear a mask. They include:
- When exercising outside.
- During river activities like tubing, swimming and kayaking.
- While driving alone or with your family in the car.
- When pumping gas.
- When entering a bank or other business with security surveillance.
- When eating or drinking.
- When doing so poses a greater mental or physical health, safety or security risk.
Brockman says businesses need to develop and implement a mask policy by the time enforcement starts Monday. The order specified that there will be no civil or criminal penalties for people who do not wear a mask; however, businesses can refuse service and ask patrons not complying to leave.
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