Newport to enforce face mask requirement; non-compliance could result in a fine

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NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Anyone planning to head to Newport this summer should plan on bringing a face mask with them.

The Newport City Council voted Tuesday in favor of a resolution requiring everyone who is out in public, especially while walking along the busy streets downtown, to wear a mask in an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Newport City Manager Joseph Nicholson tells Eyewitness News they’re concerned that with an influx of out-of-state tourists, people are already not complying with Gov. Gina Raimondo’s statewide mandate.

He said enforcing the requirement will be challenging, but the hope is that through signage and encouragement from officers, there will be more compliance.

“I do not expect us to be heavy-handed with it,” Nicholson said. “I expect us to be gentle. I expect us to be educational. I expect us to urge.”

Under the new resolution, a person who is not wearing a face mask will at first be offered one and advised to wear it. All further encounters of non-compliance may result in a fine.

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