The laws and guidelines surrounding COVID-19 can be complicated. With so many states enacting different laws, it can be difficult to understand what’s happening in Arizona. Currently, some of the laws have changed.
What’s the Difference Between Guidelines and Laws?There is little known about the COVID-19 virus. While its danger is obvious, the symptoms and overall impact vary from place to place. Health guidelines are frequently recommended for states or countries to stay as safe as possible, but this does not necessarily mean they are enforceable by law. Many communities have their own set of rules that must be followed. In Phoenix, Arizona, refusing to wear a face mask or covering can come with a fine. In Tucson, Arizona, face masks or coverings are also mandatory. According to governor, Doug Ducey, communities can create their own rules for how face masks or coverings should be used.
Face Mask vs. Face CoveringFace masks are not all created equal. There are a wide variety of masks and coverings to choose from. Facial masks can consist of N95 masks or N95 respirators as well as other masks that cover the nose and mouth. Masks are considered a higher level of protection than face coverings and are worn in a variety of spaces. Surgical masks, also known as procedure masks are generally made from thicker material. Face coverings can be created from different types of material. A face covering can be a scarf or other piece of fabric that is worn so that it covers both the nose and mouth, but usually it is still in the form of a mask. Cloth coverings are not classified under personal protective equipment and are not substitutes for respirators or medical masks. Simply put, a face covering is any well-secured cloth that covers both the mouth and nose.
Who Must Wear A Mask or Face Covering?The requirements which surround mask-wearing can change depending on city and county. Most people over the age of 5 must wear some sort of face-covering or face mask when in public. This is especially true if social distancing is difficult or not possible. Customers or patrons who are attending businesses inside of a building are usually required to wear a mask or covering. This includes spaces such as pharmacies and grocery stores. For particularly crowded areas, a mask or covering may also be required. Children over the age of 5 are still required in many counties to wear a mask or face covering. Even parents of children under the age of 5 are asked to encourage small children to wear face masks or coverings even if it is not mandated. Enforcement actions are not likely to happen for those who cannot force a 5-year-old to wear a mask or covering, but it can still happen. To better understand your rights, legal help is advised.
What Happens If Someone Does Not Wear A COVID Face Mask or Covering in Arizona?Depending on the city in Arizona, wearing a face mask or covering may be mandatory. If a mask or covering is not worn, it is advised that you call a criminal lawyer if legal action is taken. The Phoenix City Council voted to adopt a mandate that now requires the use of masks and coverings in public. Several other communities are also in favor of this mandate. The mandate is for indoor use as well as outdoor use of social distancing cannot be practiced. In Tucson, Arizona, face masks or coverings are mandatory in public settings. This emergency proclamation was signed by Mayor Regina Romero. According to this law, every person in the city of Tucson that is above age 5, must cover their nose and mouth with a face covering. This law is designed for when people are in public settings and where physical distancing is difficult. Maricopa county officials passed an order that mandates that use of masks or coverings when in a public place. This law is currently in effect. Other face covering laws extend throughout Arizona depending on the precise community.
Penalties and ConsequencesLocal police throughout a variety of Arizona communities are responding to complaints about those who are not wearing masks or coverings in the state. While it is recommended that people call the non-emergency line when getting in touch with law enforcement, this is still an actual crime. Depending on the location, a fine can cost between $50 and $250. For businesses who do not have their employees wear face coverings, owners can face criminal charges. Businesses must provide employees with masks as well as require their use.
Legal AvenuesFor many communities in Arizona, not wearing a face covering or mask can have legal consequences. With competing legal plans, which may enforce or eliminate possible civil or criminal penalties, it is often difficult for people to know what the legal ramifications of not wearing a mask or covering are. Since many mandates vary from county to county in Arizona, finding accurate and up-to-date legal representation is crucial. A criminal defense attorney can help.
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