Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued a mandate late Wednesday night requiring people in the city to wear masks in public to prevent the spread of COVID-19, a move that follows a number of other local governments that are openly defying Gov. Brian Kemp.
So far, Kemp has encouraged the use of masks, but not required them, and has said local municipalities can not create stronger provisions than those that are in his emergency order.
Bottoms’ decision is a policy reversal. She said as recently as this week that the city couldn’t force people to wear masks because it isn’t mandated under state law — or in a Kemp executive order.
The city’s order:
Prohibits gatherings of more than 10 persons on city of Atlanta property;
Calls for all persons (age 10 and older) within the territorial jurisdiction of the City of Atlanta and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, to wear a mask or a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth;
Does not impede the operation of any businesses, establishments, corporations, non-profit corporations.