coronavirus

Miami Among Cities Across South Florida Increasing Mask Fines

As of Thursday, warnings are now a thing of the past and those caught without wearing a mask will be fined $100 for the first offense

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Miami says it's going to enforce what are now steeper fines for those not wearing masks during the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Thursday, warnings are now a thing of the past and those caught without wearing a mask will be fined $100 for the first offense, up from the initial $50 fine when masks became mandatory several weeks ago.

Other cities, including Miami Beach, are among those that will also issue fines.

“When I found out on Friday we hadn’t issues one citation in weeks, it really upset me because it’s betraying those who are doing the right thing and setting a bad example for those who have not,” said Miami City Commissioner Ken Russell.

Mayor Francis Suarez held a news conference Thursday, where he also announced the city was accepting $1.3 million for help in rental assistance during the pandemic.

Russell said the city had been focusing on public education and not issuing fines. Now, Miami Police will have a dedicated force of nearly 40 officers focused on mask enforcement. 

The City of Miami has stepped up penalties for people who are caught not wearing a mask. NBC 6's Stephanie Bertini reports.

“You really don’t want to do what residents feel is oppressive or heavy handed or against their rights,” Russell said.

Suarez said the possibility of a second shut down of businesses is possible, but nothing will be decided until a second meeting takes place Friday with leaders from the community. 

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