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Residents of Laredo, Texas face $1K fine for not covering nose, mouth in public

A city in Texas is requiring residents to cover their nose and mouth in public buildings — or face a fine up to $1,000.

Starting Thursday, April 2 in Laredo, everyone over the age of 5 years old must wear a mask or some other form of covering over their mouth and face in certain public spaces to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The covering is required when entering into any building open to the public; when using public transportation, taxis, or ride shares; or when pumping gas.

Those who violate the order can face a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000.

City officials said residents can use coverings such a homemade mask, scarf, bandanna or handkerchief.

According to the order, a mask is not required when a person is engaging in a permissible outside physical activity, riding in a personal vehicle, is in alone in a separate single space, is with their own household members, when doing so poses a greater health, safety or security risk or for consumption purposes.

The emergency order is in place until April 30.

The City of Laredo also implemented a curfew for all residents from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily.  Residents are required to say in their homes during those hours and can only leave for essential trips and necessities. Those who must work during those hours should have proof such as an ID or a letter from their employer.

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