Q&A – Is Florida’s Anti-Mask Law Enforceable Once The Pandemic Ends?

Today’s entry: I read your story online regarding Florida’s anti-mask law. What will happen if after Florida’s emergency declaration ends, Floridians want to still wear a mask in public? Also, it seems like there’s wiggle room in the law over how much of one’s face can be covered before it’s a violation.

Bottom Line: This note follows Friday’s Q&A. As I previously cited, the current state of emergency due to the pandemic supersedes all other related policy, thus this isn’t currently in force in South Florida but it will be once the emergency declarations end.

To your point, what then if you want to wear a mask in public? From a point of practicality, it’s not enforced unless there’s a perceived public threat from people who’re wearing masks to disguise identity. Context is always key. Under the law, there are four provisions under which it is to be enforced.  

  • With the intent to deprive any person or class of persons of the equal protection of the laws or of equal privileges and immunities under the laws or for the purpose of preventing the constituted authorities of this state or any subdivision thereof from, or hindering them in, giving or securing to all persons within this state the equal protection of the laws;
  • With the intent, by force or threat of force, to injure, intimidate, or interfere with any person because of the person’s exercise of any right secured by federal, state, or local law or to intimidate such person or any other person or any class of persons from exercising any right secured by federal, state, or local law;
  • With the intent to intimidate, threaten, abuse, or harass any other person; or
  • While she or he was engaged in conduct that could reasonably lead to the institution of a civil or criminal proceeding against her or him, with the intent of avoiding identification in such a proceeding.

So, don’t do any of that stuff and you're good to go. One other note though, you asked about wiggle room. There is something subjective that allows for legal interpretation, any portion of the face is so hidden, concealed, or covered as to conceal the identity of the wearer. That would be up to a judge to decide if it ever got to that point. In this day in age, I’d think it’d be rather easy to determine.

Each day I feature a listener question sent by one of these methods. 


Parler & Twitter:@brianmuddradio 

Photo by: Getty Images North America

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