McMaster presents restaurant, limited mask mandates to slow virus spread

In a Wednesday afternoon press conference, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster presented an executive order that makes mandatory the measures which had previously been only recommended for restaurants, venues and other gathering places. They will go into effect Monday, Aug. 3.

Then starting Aug. 5, McMaster said his executive order requires face masks be worn in all government buildings, for town, city, county and state buildings.

It’s all for the purpose of slowing the spread of COVID-19 virus, McMaster said, and he said it “fills in the gaps” for the 40 percent of the state whose local governments have not yet requested or mandated masks and social distancing.

“These limited restrictions are temporary, they are measured, and they are targeted towards what we know works,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “These measures give South Carolina the best chance to slow the spread of the virus without shutting down the state’s economy …  to reopen business safely.

Regarding masks in other buildings, McMaster asked local governments to take the lead to pass ordinance aces and enforce wearing masks in all public buildings as it would help slow the spread of COVID-19.

By his executive order, however, the governor made mandatory the restaurant and venue guidelines which were previously recommended by AccelerateSC. They include, he said, what many, but not all restaurants were already following, such as patrons at no more than 50 percent capacity, tables at least 6 feet apart, and except for family, tables are limited to 8 people. Staff  and patrons, until food arrives, are now required to wear masks and social distance, and people can not congregate near bars.

“Through July a lot of our national chains have made mask and social distance restrictions,” McMaster said, referring to Walmart, Lowes, Kroger and others. “A lot of retailers have determined this is a good time to enact this. If South Carolina is going to prosper then what we are requiring is just what the doctor ordered. Business will be stronger and people of the state will be safer.”
McMaster encouraged schools to reopen under strict DHEC guidelines and offered the opportunity for football games and other events to eventually begin, but that the precautions set forth in mask wearing, social distancing would be required to do that.
McMaster said “Hollywood is knocking” and under these measures, which will require masks and social distancing,  theaters and similar businesses could again reopen.
“These measures are likely to be criticized. That’s okay,” McMaster said, “In South Carolina we are known by the way we react to tests and trials, so try to be courteous and try to be patient. Wear masks, wash hands, keep that distance. Use common sense and practice grace.”

 

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