The State Fire Marshal's Office provided a basic breakdown of the new rules that went into effect on Monday in Louisiana.
A mandatory mask requirement is now in place statewide to all 64 parishes. The order requires face coverings for everyone ages 8 and older except for the following:
- Anyone who has a medical condition that prevents the wearing of a face covering
- Anyone who is consuming a drink or food
- Anyone who is trying to communicate with a person who is hearing impaired
- Anyone who is giving a speech for broadcast or to an audience
- Anyone temporarily removing his or her face covering for identification purposes
- Anyone who is a resident of a parish without a high COVID incidence that has opted out of the masking mandate
Masks are strongly recommended for children ages 2 to 7.
BUSINESSES: All OpenSafely documents affected by the update have been revised and sent out to those who have signed their business up on the site. Those updated documents are also available on the front page of OpenSafely in the link reading "Download Phase 1 & 2 Documents."
The guidance document can be viewed here but is detailed below for business owners.
The statewide face covering order, as detailed in Proclamation Number 89 JBE 2020, applies in the following ways:
- All customers as well as business owners and employees, non-essential and essential, are to wear face coverings inside a commercial establishment or any other building or space open to the public, whether indoor or outdoor, as well as when utilizing public or commercial modes of transportation. This includes when individuals are engaged in exercise indoors or when a physical activity outdoors involves being within six feet of others.
- Face coverings must be worn over the nose and mouth.
- It is a business’ responsibility to ensure all employees AND customers are wearing face coverings when on the premises.
- Businesses are recommended to, first, ask any patron not wearing a face covering to put one on.
- If a customer refuses a business’ request to wear a face covering while on the premises, the business is recommended to request that the individual leave the building. If the individual refuses to leave, a trespass violation may be enforced.
- Businesses that fail to remedy concerns raised over the wearing of face coverings per Proclamation 89 JBE 2020 are subject to citation and/or applicable licensure revocation.
- A business shall make exception for customers with regard to the wearing of face coverings if the following stipulations are applicable:
- A child under the age of 8, though it is strongly recommended that children ages 2 and older wear face coverings.
- An individual with a medical condition that prevents the wearing of a face covering.
- An individual communicating with someone who is hearing impaired. •
- Exceptions can also be made for:
- Individuals who can remain six feet away from others, particularly when outdoors.
- Individuals who are eating and/or drinking.
- Individuals giving a speech for broadcast or to an audience.
- Individuals temporarily removing their face covering for identification purposes.
CITIZENS: The State Fire Marshal's Office asks that citizens direct any concerns over the face covering observations they have to the business they are visiting FIRST. "Give businesses the opportunity to remedy your concerns. Most are doing their best to be open safely for you, but they need your help."
The SFM Officials stress that complaints should be made with the business first but if the business does not responsd with a satisfactory action, then complaints can be brought up with local law enforcement but complaints must be filed with the State Fire Marshal's Office.
For all non-emergency requests for services, call the SFM Office at 1-800-256-5452 or 225-925-4911 during business office hours (8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.).
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