The city of Branson has posted a proposed reopening ordinance that Branson aldermen will consider during a special meeting at noon on May 4.
Aldermen will review Chapter 58 of the Branson Municipal Code regarding personal conduct, enclosed public spaces and the spread of communicable diseases.
According to the posted agenda on bransonmo.gov, this ordinance is designed to bring the city of Branson back online while limiting the spread of COVID-19 within the city. This will be done by placing controls on personal behavior and public operations in the city by remaining consistent with the April 27 order of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
Missouri governor Mike Parson announced this week that the state will begin a phased-in reopening of the state, beginning with Phase 1, which is scheduled to start May 4 and run through May 31.
The ordinance that will be considered by Branson aldermen has the proposed components:
–Requires individuals to wear face coverings while in indoor enclosed public spaces unless they are seated, eating and drinking or performing on a physical stage.
–Requires social distancing of six feet or more among non-family members.
–Enclosed public spaces can be open under a 25% occupant load if under 10,000 square feet and 10 % occupant load for any space over 10,000 square feet if they practice specific disinfectant measures.
–Requires signage at all businesses outlining requirements on social distancing, face coverings and groups of more than 10 people.
According to the agenda, violations of this ordinance carry a range of punishment of up to 90 days in jail or up to a $500 fine, as set in the general penalty provision in the Branson Municipal Code.
Alderman Bill Skains, contacted by phone, stressed that the proposed ordinance will likely be amended at the meeting.
“Staff came up with a recommendation, I’ve looked at it I’ve discussed it with several people in the community,” Skains said. “ I personally don’t want to see or require people to wear masks unless the (Taney County) Health Department requires them to wear it because they’re in the food service (or) restaurant business or because a particular business wants their employees to wear them. That’s their choice. That’s the health department’s thing, but the city of Branson, to require people to wear masks and then fine them $500. Nah, I’m not supporting that.”
If passed on both readings by the aldermen, or unless the aldermen amend it otherwise, this ordinance would go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, May 5 and will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. Sunday, May 31. Visit bransonmo.gov to see the full agenda.