Georgia: Cities’ Versus State’s Face Mask Rules

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Kemp’s office: Mask mandates in Georgia are ‘unenforceable’

by Greg Bluestein/Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Gov. Brian Kemp’s office said Thursday that mask requirements adopted by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and leaders of other Georgia cities are “unenforceable” but stopped short of threatening legal action to block them.

“Like all of the local mask mandates, Mayor Bottoms’ order is unenforceable,” said Kemp spokeswoman Candice Broce. “We continue to encourage Georgians to do the right thing and wear a mask voluntarily.”

The remarks were the most direct response from the Kemp administration to the wave of local governments in Georgia that were adopting requirements to wear face coverings to contain the coronavirus.

Kemp has encouraged the use of masks, but not required them, and signed a measure that prevented local municipalities from creating stronger provisions than those that are in his emergency order.

That could bring Atlanta and other cities into legal conflict with the state, although Kemp has not yet directed his office to take court action.

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