Mask-less shoppers in Nashua could face fines up to $1,000 for violating the city’s new mask mandate.
The Board of Alderman voted to implement a new emergency ordinance on Thursday evening requiring all persons to wear a cloth face covering to enter any business, multi-unit residential complex or commercial building.
Alderman Jan Schmidt, speaking with NHJournal, says she hopes other cities and towns join Nashua. In her role as a state representative, Schmidt signed a letter with 177 of her fellow Democrats demanding a statewide mandatory mask order. Other prominent Democrats, like Executive Councilors Debora Pignatelli and Andru Volinsky (the latter a candidate for governor) have endorsed a state mask mandate.
In Salem two weeks ago, a similar ordinance before the Board of Selectman did not pass and went down without a vote. Governor Sununu has rejected the idea of a statewide order so far.
“We always recommend people wear a mask, of course. We recommend it, but we’re not at a point where we’re mandating and fining people for it, definitely not,” Sununu said earlier this month. The governor has indicated that towns and cities may enable their ordinances like the one Nashua passed Thursday.
“Look, if a town or a city wants to take up those mandates for masks there are towns and cities that have the ability to do that, that’s their choice, we’re leaving it there,” Sununu told NHJournal.
“The Governor is doing a fine job re-opening the state,” Schmidt said Friday. “Masks, especially in cities and towns near our southern border, will be an essential part of this.”
Schmidt says she opposed an effort from some of her fellow Aldermen to add a punitive section to the ordinance. “We don’t need to be fining people or monitoring them. It should be simple: people entering a business must wear a mask.”