SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Santa Barbara City Council approved an emergency proclamation Tuesday afternoon that requires customers and workers in most essential businesses to wear face masks because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Essential businesses include grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, produce stands, restaurants, laundromats, hotels and taxis.
The emergency order was approved with a 7-0 vote.
"Our county and our city have been successful in social distancing, a lot of people are wearing face coverings, we've been able to flatten the curve, our ICUs aren't overrun. This is just one more step to ensure public safety." Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murillo said.
The city said face masks may include cloth masks, scarves, bandannas or other face coverings where the mouth and nose are covered.
The proclamation said businesses shall prohibit the entry of each person who is not wearing a face mask.
The city council said people who violate the order should receive a warning before a misdemeanor charge is considered.
The city council also voted to temporarily suspend the 10-cent tax on plastic and paper bags during the duration of the local Santa Barbara emergency.