FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Gov. Beshear’s mask mandate takes effect Friday at 5 p.m. and is effective for 30 days.
A good rule of thumb is if you’re leaving your house, bring a mask.
This is the list of places specifically outlined by the Governor’s Office:
While inside, or waiting in line to enter, any: retail establishment; grocery store; pharmacy; hair salon/barbershop; nail salon/spa; tattoo parlor; child care facility; restaurant or bar (when not seated and consuming food or beverage); health care setting, or; any other indoor public space in which it is difficult to maintain a physical distance of at least six feet from all individuals who are not members of that persons household;
While waiting for or riding on public transportation or paratransit, or while riding in a taxi, private car service, or ride-sharing vehicle, or driving any of the above while customers are present; or
While in outdoor public spaces in which the person cannot maintain a physical distance of six feet from all individuals who are not members of the persons household and is not otherwise covered by previously issued guidance.
If you’re working out or outside away from people, you do not have to wear a mask. Children under 5 years old also do not have to wear a mask. For a full list of exemptions from the Governor’s Office click here.
How will it be enforced?
Governor Andy Beshear said local health departments, the labor cabinet and The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Consumption will be a few of the agencies regulating mask wearing.
Beshear said at first, there will be a lot of warnings, then for repeat offenders possibly fines.
But, Governor Beshear said he hopes it doesn’t take enforcement, but that Kentuckians will want to self patrol each other.
“This should be a self enforcing type of rule, and it’s as simple as ‘no shirt, no shoes, no service,’ it’s ‘no shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service,” Beshear said.
In a one-on-one interview with ABC 36’s Monica Harkins Friday afternoon, Harkins asked Beshear if police will be apart of the mask mandate regulators.
“Our hope is that local law enforcement will remind people, when they
see them, if they have the need to do it, but really this thing is going to self-police,” he said.
Gov. Beshear said he believes strongly in self-policing because of the involvement of the National Retail Federation and the Kentucky retail Association.
“[They] asked for this mandate to protect their businesses and because they know that will end up in another shutdown if we don’t do this,” Beshear said.
But what about the restraining order from a Scott County Judge?
Thursday, a Scott County circuit court judge signed a temporary injunction blocking Gov. Andy Beshear or state agencies from enforcing coronavirus-related executive orders.
Friday, Gov. Beshear said there shouldn’t be any confusion because the mask mandate is an administrative rule which is stronger than an executive order and is not covered by the injuction.
Again, when Harkins asked Beshear about this he said people who want to grocery shop have to wear a mask, so it will get done.
“It’s just one of those steps in a worldwide health pandemic in a crisis that we need to take and if everybody jumps on board, we can get back to our old normal much faster.
“We got a little lax because we were doing so well. Now, we’ve had our wake up call it’s time to get back to it,” Beshear said.
Friday, Kentucky had its highest recorded COVID-19 cases in one day since the pandemic started.
Beshear said we have to buckle down before we see a spike that overwhelms Kentucky’s healthcare industry.
“And by doing it in the timing that we have, and being aggressive and trying to stop an increase before it gets out of control,” Beshear said. “It gives us the best chance in many ways to have it all, which will be hard, but if we can get 80% of Kentuckians wearing masks, we can keep those things open, we can get our kids back in school, we can probably do sports with fans in the stadium and continue to do it. So it’s really on us.”
At this time Beshear isn’t rolling back any relaxed reopening regulations. He’s hoping wearing masks can keep Kentucky on track to rebuilding the state’s economy.
“Wearing a mask is the way that we keep our economy open,” Gov. Beshear said.
“Goldman Sachs estimated that we will save five percent of our country’s GDP, five percent of Kentucky’s is $10 billion, by wearing a mask. That’s important. That’s a lot of businesses out there that need our help,” Beshear said.
Where do you get a mask if you don’t have one?
Governor Beshear said all COVID-19 testing sites have masks and hand sanitizer as well as tests for free.
Keep in mind, most testing sites require appointments ahead of time.
Some local health departments have masks on hand for free, like Woodford County Health Department.
There are also some non-profits that offer cloth masks free of charge.
Travel is not restricted, but it’s highly recommended to stay away from coronavirus hotspots.
Gov. Beshear said while travel is open, be smart about taking your family to the beach.
“It’s summer, people want to get away. They want to go on vacations. They want to do the same exact thing they did last summer, except we’ve got COVID-19 right now,” Beshear said. “So, please don’t go and take your family to a hotspot where you are likely to get this virus, put their health at risk, and then bring it back to your community, and put everybody else’s health at risk.”
“We need everybody’s help on this. A refusal to wear a mask is you making a personal decision to put yourself above the health and well being of other people. You could say it’s everybody else’s fault if they’re around you, but that’s not how our society works, just do the right thing,” Beshear said.