City of Conway passes ordinance requiring residents to wear face coverings

Local News

CONWAY, Ark. — A unanimous vote from Conway City Council Monday, to adopt Governor Asa Hutchinson’s model ordinance regarding face masks.

The next time you’re out shopping or eating and you refuse to wear a mask, businesses in Conway can ask you to leave.

“A lot of our local businesses are suffering right now due to COVID-19 and so anything that we can do as a city to help them stay open.. and keep people employed,” Conway Mayor Bart Castleberry said.

Mayor Castleberry said their unanimous vote is in favor of helping local businesses during this pandemic.

“A number of businesses have asked us to do this, in the past and once this became public we really got a lot of calls to that effect,” Castleberry said.

This wasn’t an easy decision for the council to come to. Castleberry said they also received calls from businesses, not in favor of this ordinance.

“I know that some people will be upset,” Castleberry said. ”I can promise you we’re not going to trample on anyone’s constitutional rights or civil rights.”

The local ordinance would not include penalties for not complying.

“A business can ask you to leave, if you choose not to then the police department can come to ask you to leave but you’re not going to be handcuffed, not going to be issued a citation or anything like that,” Castleberry said. ”It’s just hopefully will help our businesses.”

Under Hutchinson’s order, local law enforcement and city officials would act in a “support capacity” to help educate and encourage folks to wear masks.

These discussions happening as Arkansas continues to see a surge in cases.

“Our intent really is because there’s so many unknowns with this virus, our intent is to do anything we can to help slow it or stop it,” Castleberry said.

This order went into effect immediately. Click here to read the full ordinance.

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