Washington Governor Bars Businesses from Serving Customers Without Masks

A hairdresser, wearing PPE (personal protective equipment), of a face mask or covering as a precautionary measure against spreading COVID-19, is reflected in a mirror as she cuts the hair of a customer, also wearing a face covering, in Dublin on June 29, 2020, as lockdown measures begin to be …
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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced a statewide order on Thursday requiring businesses to refuse to serve customers who do not adhere to the statewide mask order, which begins July 7.

Businesses “may not serve any customer, services or goods, if they do not comply with the state-wide face covering” under the proclamation — a requirement originally confined to Yakima County.

Inslee is attributing the statewide mandate to a spike in coronavirus cases across the state.

“The better we can protect ourselves from the virus, the better we can avoid repeating some of the painful measures we had to take in the spring to shutdown [sic] the economy,” Inslee said:

The governor said it is a “reasonable expectation for businesses to enforce this law,” adding that it “gives employers an added measure of protection.”

The statewide mask mandate went into effect June 26, ordering individuals to wear a covering over their mouth and nose in both indoor and outdoor public settings with limited exceptions for eating and exercise.

Individuals under the age of five and those with a “medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a face covering” are also exempt from the order.

“The science is clear that when we use face coverings, we limit the spread of droplets being passed on to others when we talk, cough or sneeze,” Washington Secretary of Health John Wiesman said.

Wiesman added:

While some of us are wearing face coverings in public, we must increase usage to best control the virus. Washington’s strategy to restart the economy and get people back to work will only be successful if, together, we act safely and follow health recommendations.

“This is not an optional plan for businesses,” Inslee clarified. “This is a legal requirement.”

Several states have their own version of a statewide mask requirement, including California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and, most recently, Texas.


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