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Guidelines for restaurants become enforceable by fines in Pima County

Posted at 5:40 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-14 00:11:49-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Pima County Supervisors voted 3 to 2 today turning recommendations for dining areas into enforceable county code. That means restaurants reopening could face fines if they break the rules.

Fini’s Landing is planning to follow the regulations when they open Thursday. Along with typical restaurant items, reopening supplies will include masks and a laser thermometer.

“We ordered our thermometer, it is supposed to show up this afternoon so hopefully it does,” said Owner Scott Mencke.

Menke says takeout orders are not enough to keep them going. They have to re-open whatever the new regulations are. Supervisors Christy and Miller opposed the proclamation.

"I’ve said it before the regulations are the penalties, as were the previous proclamations to shut down businesses in Pima County,” said Supervisor Christy. “We should not be talking about fines.”

Despite their opposition the proclamation passed 3-2, making 15 health recommendations part of the health code.

“It is not a condition any of us expected or wanted to live with,” said Chairman Ramon Valadez. “We are not doing this out of capriciousness.”

Rules like temperature checks for employees, six feet between tables, and hand sanitizer availability are now enforceable under the law. Mencke says the new regulations are not going to make re-opening any easier.

“On top of doing all this stuff, now we have to log it and give it back to the county.” said Mencke. “I see where they are coming from, but I do think it’s over the top.

But Mencke says they will do all the things they need to do to during these tough times.

“I don’t think there are any good answers to this whole thing, some people think they have the answers, we are just going to do the best we can to make people feel comfortable.”