A new mandate was in effect Thursday, requiring masks to be worn in many indoor settings in Palm Springs to prevent the spread of coronavirus, including stores and restaurants, regardless of vaccination status.
The Palm Springs City Council voted unanimously at a special meeting Wednesday night to instigate a series of new COVID-protocols, including the requirement of masks inside all businesses for customers and employees, citing concerns over the spread of the Delta variant.
“We have made hard decisions quickly to hopefully prevent harder decisions in the near future,” Mayor Christy Holstege said. “Our residents, businesses and workers recognize the need to once again pivot, and the City Council has listened. I am extremely proud of our community.”
Beyond the mask requirement, proof of vaccination status or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours is now mandated for attendees of “large- scale” ticketed events. While Council members were vague about the meaning of the term, Splash House, which is scheduled for Aug. 13-15, was cited as an example.
The Council also voted to require proof of vaccination status or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours to eat indoors at bars and restaurants.
The restaurant and bar mandate only applies to their indoor sections, meaning no proof will be required to eat outside, according to officials. Restaurant owners will have three weeks to implement the necessary protocols to enforce the mandate.
Attendees of the city’s weekly Thursday outdoor street fair in downtown, VillageFest, will also be required to wear masks, beginning next week.
The Council members used policy trends from cities such as New York and Los Angeles provided by City Manager Justin Clifton to guide their new mandates.
Council members said these mandates can be reduced and appealed at any time, and with another special meeting if needed, given any change in virus trends.