Face Masks Required & Pedestrians Only in 500 Block of State Street
Source: City of Santa Barbara
This past Tuesday, July 28, 2020, City Council directed the City Administrator to require face mask use and pedestrian-only traffic on the 500 Block of State Street and during Tuesday's Farmer's Market using the City Emergency Economic Recovery Ordinance. June 18, 2020, Governor Newsom ordered the use of face masks in public when not able to practice safe distancing of 6-feet. The 500 Block of State Street includes many restaurants with large outdoor dining areas as well as congested pedestrian passages where safe distancing is not always possible and diners eating without face masks are more exposed to COVID 19. This is also the case for Tuesday's Farmer's Market. Mandatory face mask use on the 500 Block and on Tuesday's Farmer's Market is intended to eliminate the ambiguity and to create a safer public experience.
Bicycling, Skateboarding, Scootering, as well as other wheeled vehicles are also inappropriate on the 500 Block of State Street and during Tuesday's Farmer's Market for similar reasons. The creation of a pedestrian-only block is also intended to create public safety. Bicycles and other wheeled vehicles may be walked and skateboards carried.
Starting Saturday, August 1, 2020 Santa Barbara Peace Officers will be present and Downtown Ambassadors will be stationed on the 500 Block of State Street to educate the public of the new requirements. Both teams will be distributing a half-sheet paper with information in English and Spanish describing the new requirements (see below) in order to educate locals and visitors about these safety precautions and the importance of abiding by them. Downtown Ambassadors will also have face masks available for those who are not aware of the new requirement and those who forget. Additional public safety measures authorized include no bicycling, no skating, no skateboarding, no scootering, etc. Those enjoying such activities will be educated and required to walk while in the 500 Block of State Street and within the area occupied by Tuesday's Farmer's Market.
Paul Casey, City Administrator, has authorized Peace Officers to issue citations as a last resort enforcement measure. Face Mask compliance last weekend in the 500 Block of State Street was nearly 90%. City Staff believes that this weekend's educational efforts will raise compliance near 100% and that enforcement measures will be rare or possibly unnecessary.
NEW RULES FOR THE 500 BLOCK OF STATE STREET
1. Everyone must wear a face covering at all times in the 500 Block of State Street and during the Farmers' Market.
A. Persons who are seated at a restaurant or other establishment that offers food or beverage service, while they are eating or drinking, provided that they are able to maintain a distance of at least six feet away from persons not seated at or serving their table.
B. Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a face covering. This includes persons with a medical condition for whom wearing a face covering could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance. Persons exempted from wearing a face covering due to a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability who are employed in a job involving regular contact with others should, if the condition allows, wear a non-restrictive alternative, such as a face shield with a drape on the bottom edge.
C. Persons younger than two years old.
D. Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
2. Bicycling, roller-skating, skateboarding, scootering, or use of other similar devices is prohibited at all times on the 500 Block of State Street and during for the Farmers' Market.
3. A violation is an infraction and subject to citation.