A sign is shown outside Main & Gray, a store in downtown Fort Mill.

Fort Mill’s Mandatory Mask Ordinance ends Wednesday (Aug. 5) since the town council could not reach a two-thirds majority to extend it.

That means the town can no longer require face coverings inside its government offices and can’t force them in food, retail and service establishments.

But the Town still recommends residents use face coverings and follow CDC guidelines. And there is also state rules and requirements from individual businesses.

In South Carolina, masks or face coverings are now required in all restaurants and entertainment venues that attract groups of people, including gyms, theaters, parks, racetracks and auditoriums. Masks also are required in state government buildings starting Aug. 5.

Gov. Henry McMaster’s mask rule does not extend to retailers or grocery stores since many chains like Walmart already require customers to wear masks while inside stores. McMaster’s order also does not apply to parking lots, sidewalks or other outdoor public areas.

And while the Town of Fort Mill no longer require masks under an ordinance, they still recommend masks and social distancing, said Chris Sardelli, Public Relations Manager. Here is the town’s message:

The Town of Fort Mill’s face covering ordinance is set to expire at midnight (Wednesday) and the Town is urging residents to continue to follow CDC guidelines and recommendations for COVID-19, including the following:
-Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others.
-Wash your hands often.
-Avoid close contact by staying 6 feet away from others.
-Cover coughs and sneezes.
-Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
-Monitor your health daily and look for signs or symptoms of COVID-19.

On July 27, the Fort Mill Town Council took a vote on extending the mask ordinance into September. Mayor Guynn Savage and Council members Lisa Cook and Trudie Bolin Heemsoth voted in favor of the extension. Council members Larry Huntley and Ronnie Helms voted against the extension. (Council members Jamie Shirey and Chris Moody were not present.)

But an emergency ordinance requires a two-thirds vote to pass and the 3-2 vote to approve did not meet that threshold.  

Fort Mill police said they gave no warnings or fines under the ordinance and had not received any reported complaints of non-compliance. When the town’s mask rule first passed, the town said violators would get a warning on their first offense and a fine of between $25 and $100 on any subsequent offense.