Miami Beach officials have said the city will start fining people $50 if they are caught in public not wearing a mask or other face covering as coronavirus cases jump by another 6,093 in a single day in Florida.
Dan Gelber, Miami Beach’s mayor, announced the mandate on Monday, which explained that ‘all persons in public spaces and places, both indoors and outdoors, must wear a face covering if social distancing is not being achieved’.
Gelber said: ‘Our rule is simple, you must be wearing a mask in our city.
According to the mayor, the mandate took effect on Tuesday and says that anyone who fails to comply will be issued a $50 fine. There are now a total of 152,434 coronavirus cases in Florida and 3,505 deaths.
Children under the age of two years old are not required to wear facial coverings.
People who have trouble breathing due to chronic pre-existing conditions and individuals who cannot wear a facial covering due to a disability are also not required to wear masks.
According to the Miami Herald, residents of Miami are required to wear masks at all times in public except for when they are exercising, eating or working outdoors.
Miami’s fines for violators range between $50 to $500 for a third offense.
Florida is one of several states where new coronavirus infections have continued to spike within the last week.
Last week, coronavirus infections across the US almost doubled with 31 states reporting an uptick in cases.
COVID-19 cases across the US increased by 46 per cent in the week ending June 28, compared to the previous seven days, with the majority of rises in the West and South of the country.
Nationally, new cases have consistently spiked every week for four straight weeks. Daily cases have been increasing to record highs of 40,000 in the past week – well above the initial surge of infections that were seen back in mid-April.
Infections across the US have now surpassed 2.58 million and more than 126,000 Americans have died since the virus took hold in March.
While cases continue to spike, deaths are showing a downward trend across the country.
But Arizona, Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky, Florida and Tennessee were the states that saw the largest increases in deaths in the past week.
In the past week, Florida, Louisiana, Idaho and Washington state have seen new infections more than double, according to a Reuters analysis of data from The COVID Tracking Project.
In response to the new cases, Louisiana and Washington have temporarily halted the reopening of their economies, with Washington also mandating the wearing of face masks in public.
Florida ordered all bars to close on Friday and has shut down beaches ahead of the July 4 holiday weekend.
Elsewhere across the country, leaders in several states have ordered residents to wear masks in public and have halted reopenings in a dramatic reversal amid the alarming surge in coronavirus cases.
Among those implementing the face-covering orders is the city of Jacksonville, Florida, where mask-averse President Donald Trump plans to accept the Republican nomination in August.
Trump has refused to wear a mask during visits to states and businesses that require them.
Republican Florida Gov Ron DeSantis has opposed a statewide mask requirement but said in response to Jacksonville’s action that he will support local authorities who are doing what they think is appropriate.
Less than a week after Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said there would be no mask requirement, city officials announced on Monday that coverings must be worn in ‘situations where individuals cannot socially distance’.