Plano City Council on June 30 decided not to make the mandatory-mask ordinance enforceable. Instead, the council replaced the proposed regulation with a strongly worded recommendation. Businesses that fail to comply will not be subject to a fine, as originally proposed.
Three council members—Mayor Harry LaRosiliere, Rick Grady and Maria Tu—voted against the final recommendation after making clear they preferred to pass it as an enforceable ordinance. Kayci Prince supported a version of the enforceable ordinance, as well as the final recommendation that passed. Anthony Ricciardelli, Rick Smith, Lily Bao and Shelby Williams supported the recommendation but opposed making it enforceable.
Here’s what the new ordinance means for residents and businesses.
What should guests be prepared for at participating businesses?
Wear a face covering when visiting grocery stores, retail businesses, restaurant waiting areas, or other places of business in Plano where mandatory-mask signs are posted. The recommended policy does not apply while you’re actually eating or drinking at a restaurant. If covering your nose and mouth poses a “significant mental or physical health risk,” the city’s policy directs businesses not to require a mask. Services that can’t be provided while wearing a mask are also exempt from the rule.
How can business owners comply?
If your business offers goods or services to the public, the city of Plano strongly recommends requiring your employees and guests to wear masks when in an area in which six feet of separation cannot be consistently maintained. You are also recommended to post a notice of the policy in “a conspicuous location” where all visitors and employees can see it. Businesses can also adopt more extensive measures, such as temperature checks or health screenings.
Will there be a fine for failing to comply?
No. The city declined to adopt a version of the ordinance that would have included a fine of up to $500 for businesses that failed to adopt the policy. “Without the enforcement clauses, it’s not regulatory—it is recommended,” City Attorney Paige Mims said after the June 30 council meeting. City Manager Mark Israelson said during the meeting that city employees may visit businesses that are out of compliance to encourage implementing mask requirements, even if no fine is possible.
How long does the recommendation last?
The recommendation went into effect immediately when it passed late June 30. It will stay in effect until the council’s first meeting in August, when members are expected to revisit the language and possibly extend the measure.