Mask requirement passes in Avon; face coverings now mandatory in indoor public spaces

The Avon Town Council unanimously approved an emergency ordinance requiring individuals to wear masks in indoor public spaces in town on Tuesday. 

The ordnance passed the council at about 7 p.m. and took effect immediately, applying to indoor businesses and facilities open to the public, and does not apply to any portion of a business which is outdoor or to any outdoor seating. 

In passing the ordinance, however, the town did not want to place “an undue burden on the Avon Police Department,” said town manager Eric Heil. 

Instead, business will be primarily responsible for ensuring customers comply with the requirements of the ordinance. 

The Town Manager will be responsible for issuing warnings to businesses that permit employees or customers to ignore the ordinance, and the Town Manager can potentially suspend a business that consistently fails to ensure its employees and customers wear face coverings as required. 

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Heil said he was not supportive of issuing fines to individuals who refuse to wear masks.

“With the other issues unrelated to the coronavirus, with the national debate about policing, I just don’t think it’s necessary, or a good time to involve our police with enforcement,” Heil said.

Nevertheless, Police Chief Greg Daly said he fully expects to receive calls. 

“The issue is, if an owner of a business asks an individual to leave their business, and they refuse to do so, then that becomes a trespassing issue, and then we address that in terms of trespassing,” Daly said. 

—This story will be updated

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