Hermosa Beach

Hermosa Beach Begins Enforcing Fines For Those Not Wearing Masks

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In a sea of people, mask enforcers can be spotted wearing bright yellow vests as they're out working in Hermosa Beach. 

Starting Saturday, health ordinance enforcement officers will be out in the busiest parts of the city -- downtown, along the strand, and in parks -- urging people to wear face coverings. And they could face citations or fines if they don't comply. 

“I'm all for it. I think our safety should be number one," a visitor, Lauren Partida said.

Mayor Mary Campbell says the city put the ordinance in effect because there was no accountability with mask rules.

“When we reopened our businesses a little bit and our beaches, people came out and they acted, basically, like everything was over and we saw the numbers spike,” Mayor Campbell said. 

The fines for violating the face mask requirements are $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second, and $500 for any after that in a 12 month period. 

The city says that fines are really not their goal. Enforcers will make contact with people not wearing a mask, offer them one, and only enforce fines if they refuse to wear it.

Some people argue that they don't believe masks should be enforced outside of an establishment, where people are out walking or near the water.

“It's an unenforceable, ridiculous law.. They have overstepped their authority. They have no right to impose fines on their people,” one man said. 

But others said they feel safer if people around them have their noses and mouths covered.

“It's not your right to infect other people. It's an imposition. It's a little bit of an annoyance but definitely not against your rights. The more we wear them, the sooner this will be over,” Jina Smith said. 

Four workers will be assigned to different areas each day, taking the burden off the police department.

And city officials say they're working to get numbers down in the hopes of opening more of their economy.

“If we are going to get through this, all the way through to reopen our schools, our businesses and our way of life, we have to work together and everyone has to do their part,” Mayor Campbell said. 

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