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Diners in Harris County Are Now Required to Wear Masks in Restaurants

Establishments that don’t comply face fines of $1,000

Masks are required for both employees and patrons at restaurants

On Monday, an executive order from Harris County judge Lina Hidalgo now requires that all restaurant patrons in Houston and its surrounding areas wear masks while visiting restaurants.

The new order, which went into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, instructs businesses to require that all of its employees and patrons wear face coverings while they’re in close proximity to other people. At a press conference announcing the order on Friday, Houston mayor Sylvester Turner compared the order to the typical “no shoes, no shirt, no service” signs that are already posted outside of many establishments.

Restaurants and other businesses that don’t comply with the order, which also requires these establishments to post signage informing customers of the policy within five days of its effective date, face fines of $1,000 per violation. Some exemptions to the requirement exist — children under the age of 10 are not required to wear masks, and diners may (of course) remove their masks to eat and drink.

The mask requirement is in effect until June 30, when the statewide disaster declaration expires.

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