Simi Valley businesses whose customers refuse to wear a face mask can now call the police for help in removing those persons from their property.
However, “businesses in Simi Valley who encounter individuals who will not adhere to store policies requiring face coverings may report those individuals for removal by contacting the Simi Valley Police Department,” a statement from city spokeswoman Samantha Argabrite said.
California requires face coverings in several high-risk situations, such as being inside, or in line to enter, any indoor public spaces; in healthcare settings, waiting for or riding on public transportation or a rideshare service, or working with the public or any space visited by members of the public, or where food is prepared. Masks are also required outside when a physical distance of 6 feet cannot be maintained from other people.
City officials say they wanted to give business owners the option so they and their other customers will feel safe while shopping. If a police officer is called, the officer will escort the unwilling customer off the property without issuing a citation.
“As you would with anyone who would be belligerent or difficult inside your store,” said Simi Valley Deputy City Manager Samantha Argabrit. “Certainly we don’t want to have to arrest people and we certainly don’t want to have to escort people from businesses, but obviously the police will do what they have within their powers to do to ensure they have a safe environment and that businesses and customers feel comfortable.”