SANTA MONICA—The city of Santa Monica Code Enforcement issued their first citations on Thursday, August 13 for those not wearing a mask as mandated to do so.

Three citations were issued and 20 contacts were made during an operation to enforce mandatory mask-wearing. A contact refers to people being approached and asked by police to either wear their mask correctly or, when eating, to keep their mask on until food has been served.

Santa Monica initially announced citations for not wearing a mask on July 2 in a press release, writing:

“Face coverings are essential. I encourage everyone to try different styles to find what works for you. But it is a critical time to save lives by wearing face coverings whenever we are outside of our homes and not gathering with people outside of our households.”

The twentieth supplement to Santa Monica’s declaration of a local emergency authorized $100 citations for those not wearing a mask when required to do so. If an individual is cited a second time for not wearing a mask, the fee is $250, and for a third citation, the fee is $500.

The supplement also allowed businesses to refuse service to those who do not wear a mask or properly social distance. For businesses that do not comply with the mandate to wear a mask, citations begin at $500, $750 for a second citation, and $1,000 for the third citation.

“As public health experts have shared widely this week, we are in a dangerous period with dramatic increases in cases and hospitalizations,” said Interim City Manager Lane Dilg.

Following the supplement authorizing the citations, the order was not heavily enforced. On Instagram last week, the city of Santa Monica’s account announced, “Beginning this week, we’ll be doing targeted enforcement for face coverings in business districts and parks in Santa Monica. Save your health and $100 by masking up.”