As Philadelphia officials begin a slow reopening of public life in the city, starting with construction work this week, fines for violating the continuing stay-at-home and essential business regulations have been dramatically increased.
Fines for violating orders put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus were $300 prior to new city Board of Health regulations put into place April 30.The penalty for a violation of the business operation orders or any other regulation concerning those orders is now $2,000 per violation.
Here are the updated violation penalties:
- For businesses: The penalty for a violation of the business operation orders or any other regulation concerning those orders is now $2,000 per violation.
- For individuals: The penalty for a violation of the orders is a fine of $500 per violation.
- Enforcement officers also have the discretion to issue Code Violation Notices (CVNs) to allow payment of lesser amounts for violations of the orders to avoid being taken to court. They are:
- $700 for violations subject to a $2,000 penalty.
- $250 for violations subject to a $500 penalty.
"If you don't follow the orders, we will fine you and take you to court," Mayor Jim Kenney said Thursday at his daily briefing.
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He also reprimanded anyone out walking, jogging or bicycling without a mask.
"Just wear a mask," Kenney said. "It’s not a big deal."
The city has already issued numerous citations for violating the pandemic orders, according to city Managing Director Brian Abernathy.
The city issued 25 failure to disperse citations, including 12 on the first day of the stay-at-home order in March, Abernathy said.
Another 583 warnings to businesses and restaurants operating outside the restrictions of the essential business and food pickup regulations have also been issued, but the city has yet to issue any fines, he said.