The city of Miami, Florida is imposing fines for refusing to wear face coverings and repeat offenders could be liable to pay up to $500.
The new mask policy will have a tiered system for fines.
The first offense for not covering up will result in a net fine of $50 and a second offense will result in a $150 fee.
Those who continue to violate the measure will be subject to up to $500 in fees and could even be arrested.
“The only way to ensure compliance in some way shape or form is you have to have a heavy hand,” City Manager Art Noriega said Thursday.
Reportedly, these fines will go to collection agencies so refusing to pay them could result in damage to credit reports, so there are some real consequences here.
There is a lot of scientific support showing that wearing masks prevent coronavirus transmission.
Masks are not perfect but there is a lot of evidence that they are effective at curtailing the spread of a virus like the coronavirus.
Here are what a couple of studies have shown via BI:
- “A recent analysis of coronavirus outbreaks in 42 countries found that countries where mask wearing was common, like China and Japan, saw more modest outbreaks compared with nations that weren’t accustomed to the practice.”
- “A model from the University of Washington predicted that the US could prevent about 33,000 coronavirus deaths by October if 95% of the population wore face masks in public.”
- Findings from Arizona State University showed that “broad adoption of even relatively ineffective face masks may meaningfully reduce community transmission of COVID-19” and that in NY, “up to 45% of projected deaths over two months could be prevented — even if the masks were only 50% effective.”
- “Indian researchers recently determined that a simple cloth mask “substantially decreases” the spread of virus particles when an infected person coughs or sneezes.”
So even if the masks being worn are not totally effective at containing virus particles from getting into the environment from your nose and mouth, they can still play a major role in decreasing the spread of the virus.
Still, a lot of people consider this to be infringing upon their freedom.
There also has not been a clear message regarding the effectiveness of masks from the beginning which has been problematic.
Top level health officials and groups like the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not recommend the use of face masks for the general public and have reversed their stance on whether or not people should wear masks.
That has resulted in people not trusting the advice being told to them.
Add in the fact that this virus and its threat to public safety have been highly politicized a pre-existing stigma on masks, potential health risks involved in wearing a mask, and you can see why a sizable segment of the population is essentially “anti-mask.”
I think more cities are going to come down harder on people who violate mask ordinances in terms of setting up mandatory requirements and potential fines.
However, I question whether or not those fines will be enforced since the focus is on safety and not so much coming down on violators hard.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. His content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.