Breckenridge ditches mandatory mask zone downtown

A sign informs visitors about the mandatory mask zone in Breckenridge on July 12. The ordinance that put the mask zone in place has been repealed by the town and replaced by a less restrictive mask ordinance.
Photo by Libby Stanford / Summit Daily archives

Breckenridge’s mandatory mask zone is officially a thing of the past. The Breckenridge Town Council unanimously approved an emergency ordinance on Tuesday, April 27, that loosens mask requirements in town.

The newly approved mask ordinance in Breckenridge requires people to comply with any local, state or federal mask orders. The new ordinance repeals a 2020 ordinance that created a mandatory mask zone in Breckenridge, which required everyone in the core of town to wear a mask at all times — inside or outside.

“As we appear to be transitioning to lesser face-covering requirements, it is important to have an ordinance that spells out compliance with whatever the current orders are at the time,” Town Manager Rick Holman explained in his memo to council.

Holman said the new ordinance means the town will follow Summit County’s mask rules. Summit County’s current public health order requires people to wear masks whenever they are in indoor areas open to the public or outdoors when people will be within 6 feet of one another for more than 15 minutes. Exceptions include that masks don’t need to be worn by children younger than 2, people with certain medical conditions or while people are eating or drinking.

The federal element of the ordinance is related to transportation, Holman said, as there are some federal mask orders that apply to the town’s bus system.

The new ordinance keeps the fining structure of the previous mask ordinance, fining people who violate the ordinance $50 on the first offense, $250 on the second offense and $500 for the third and each subsequent offense. However, town spokesperson Haley Littleton wrote in an email that she is not aware of an individual who has been fined for violating the town’s mask ordinance.

The emergency ordinance went into effect immediately after adoption by the Town Council.

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