If you're caught without a mask in Miami-Dade County, you can be fined $100.
County commissioners unanimously voted for the civil fine during Thursday's meeting. It goes into effect immediately.
"I applaud (Miami-Dade County Commissioners') unanimous decision to make the violation of our masks order a civil infraction," Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in a tweet. "This allows code enforcement officers to issue citations to those who don't comply with the emergency order in Miami-Dade County, helping police with this task."
Gimenez' office said the new ordinance will be "instrumental" in enforcing the county's "New Normal" guidelines. Anyone who does not comply with the guidelines can now be cited by Miami-Dade police or by Miami-Dade Code Enforcement, both of which have the authority to issue tickets with fines of up to $100. Individuals who are unable to pay the fine will be subject to community service.
NBC 6 on Thursday followed Miami-Dade Police officers around the county as they stepped up enforcement of COVID-19 rules.
Aside from making sure employees and customers at businesses are wearing masks, officers are also taking a look at signage and sanitary measures.
"Since we went back to phase one recently, we’ve already closed 21 businesses for non compliance," said Det. Alvaro Zabaleta.
Officers make more than 500 compliance checks a day. Aside from random checks, they also respond to complaints.
"We’re not doing it to hurt our businesses. We’re not doing it to financially impact our businesses," Zabaleta said. "What we’re doing it for is the safety ... To maintain the health of our residents and to make sure we don’t fall back to a complete closure."
If a non-compliant business is shut down, they must review the new normal guidelines and submit an affidavit proving they have met the requirements to reopen.