SOUTHPORT — The City of Southport is now requiring face masks to be worn in City limits to stop the speed of Covid-19.
Effective 5 p.m. Monday, Southport will begin requiring face masks in public spaces where social distancing is not possible, according to the State Port Pilot.
Southport is the first municipality in southeastern North Carolina to pass its own face-covering rule. The City of Raleigh, Orange County, and Durham County enacted similar rules last week.
The new rule applies to grocery stores, businesses, parking lots, and other public places. Face coverings must cover the nose and mouth and be secured. Bandanas, cotton t-shirts, and other homemade coverings are acceptable under the City’s new order.
Coverings are not required while individuals exercise outdoors or while walking or exercising with immediate household contacts. All businesses should require customers to wear face masks while indoors and all employees must also remain masked while on the job, according to the order.
Children under 12 years old, restaurant patrons while eating, and those who cannot wear coverings due to a medical condition or their religious beliefs are exempted from the order. Masks do not need to be worn in individual business offices or in settings where it isn’t feasible, such as a dentist’s office or while swimming.
Mayor Joe Pat Hatem signed the proclamation Monday. Hatem is an emergency room physician at Dosher Medical Center.
Masks are not yet required in public spaces in North Carolina. Governor Roy Cooper said Thursday, June 18 that his office is carefully reviewing exactly how a mask mandate would be legally implemented.