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Residents, businesses react to Milwaukee mask mandate

NOW: Residents, businesses react to Milwaukee mask mandate

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) - While the mask mandate passed the Milwaukee Common Council with a unanimous vote, not everyone is happy about it.

"I feel like it's a bit extreme," said Stephanie Scaife, who wants people to stay safe, but thinks the mandate and the fine that goes with it might go too far.

"I understand you’re trying to protect other people but it’s also your choice -- I feel like it should be -- and the choice of the business you’re at, and being fined $50, that’s a lot of money," said Scaife.

But some are on board with the idea. "I support it," said Paul Wintheiser, who wears a mask most of the time anyway.

"I think this is something that we’re going to have to learn to live with for a long time, whether it’s masks or social distancing or whatever," said Wintheiser.

Under the rule, you need to have a mask when you leave the house. If you enter a business or public building, you need to have it on.

"It’s a lot about keeping people safe," said Justin Wenz, from the Wicked Hop in Third Ward. He says their restaurant is open to the change.

"Not much different for the staff here 'cause we have them on all the time, but for customers, hopefully they come back and join us here and it doesn’t deter too many customers," he said.

You don't have to try to eat with a mask on. When you're at your table you can take it off to eat and drink, but then it needs to go back on.

The rules apply outside as well. If you are within 6 feet of someone who is not in your household, you need to wear a mask.

However, this rule will not be enforced by police. It's being left up to the Health Department, and they will rely on businesses.

If customers aren't wearing masks inside a business, the business owner can be fined, or even lose their license.

But Wicked Hop isn't worried. "I don’t think that’s really going to be a problem," said Wenz.

The Common Council also passed a resolution to provide masks to everyone who needs one in the city for free, but they didn't have details about how that would work.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett still needs to sign the new rule. If he does, it will take effect on Thursday, July 16.

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