New York City will impose fines on people who refuse to wear a mask, as the rate of positive tests for the new coronavirus rose above 3% for the first time in months, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Tuesday. market.
In addition to New York, 28 other states are experiencing an increase in new coronavirus infections in the past two weeks, and hospitalizations for Covid-19 have increased in several Midwestern states.
New York City officials will first offer free masks to those who are not wearing face protection in public. If the person refuses, he will have to pay a fine, de Blasio told reporters.
“We don’t want to fine people, but if necessary, we will,” he said. Municipal police and health department officials, among others, will see to it that fines are imposed, he said.
The fines will be up to $ 1,000, although “most” do not exceed $ 500, wrote Mitch Schwartz, spokesman for the mayor, in an email. He declined to say whether this would apply to city police as well, some of whom can often be seen without masks, despite the mayor’s warnings.
A similar policy was imposed this month by the State-controlled Metropolitan Transport Authority, according to which passengers who refuse to wear a mask on public transport face a $ 50 fine.
The daily rate of positive coronavirus testing across the city was 3.25%, according to provisional data, the first time it exceeded 3% since June. In April, when the city was the global epicenter of the pandemic, more than 5,000 people tested positive each day, compared to a few hundred now, even though the tests were more comprehensive.