Reminder: Businesses Responsible for Customers Wearing Masks
Posted on September 2, 2020
The Illinois Department of Health (IDPH) issued an emergency rule that holds businesses responsible for consumers who do not wear masks on their premises.
This rule has faced many objections, but remains in effect and states, “Any business, service, facility or organization open to the public or employees shall require employees, customers, and other individuals on the premises who are over age two and able to medically tolerate a face covering to cover their nose and mouth with a face covering when on premises and unable to maintain at least a six-foot social distance. Businesses, services, facilities or organizations that offer food or beverages for in-person consumption may permit employees, customers, and other individuals to remove their face coverings while eating or drinking, but must require face coverings at all other times. Businesses, services, facilities or organizations that take reasonable efforts to require patrons and employees to wear a face covering shall be in compliance with this subsection. For retail businesses, reasonable efforts to comply with regard to customers shall be determined based on the totality of the circumstances and include, but are not limited to: posting signage requiring face coverings to be worn on the premises; providing face coverings to customers; giving verbal warnings to customers to wear a face covering when on the premises; and requesting that customers leave the premises if not wearing a face covering.” Click here for the complete rule.
Within the rule are ‘reasonable efforts’ businesses can take to avoid a fine. This includes but is not limited to:
- posting signage requiring face coverings to be worn on the premises;
- providing face coverings to customers;
- giving verbal warnings to customers to wear a face covering when on the premises; and,
- requesting that customers leave the premises if not wearing a face covering.
The following steps will be taken BEFORE a penalty is assessed:
- The business shall be given a written notice of non-compliance.
- The business shall be given a reasonable opportunity to comply.
- Only after determining the business has not voluntarily complied, after the notice, and reasonable time to cure, the enforcing entity may issue a written order to “disperse”. Disperse includes requiring all or some of the consumers from the premise to become compliant.
- If the business refuses to comply with a written order to disperse then the business is liable for the Class A Misdemeanor.
(Information provided by Illinois Department of Health and Illinois Retail Merchants Association)