Councilman Herb Wesson introduced a motion Wednesday that would give businesses in Los Angeles the authority to require customers to wear masks while inside their storefronts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Small business owners and their employees are risking their lives to stay afloat in the midst of this economic and public health crisis,” Wesson said. “Wearing a mask saves lives, and this simple, common-sense law will save lives and allow us to beat this virus sooner rather than later.”

Wesson said his motion comes after a month of “major setbacks” regarding COVID-19 for Los Angeles and the state of California, where more than 475,000 of the state’s residents have tested positive for the virus and more than 8,700 have died.

“Koreatown’s small business owners should not have to choose between going to work and their safety,” said Laura Jeon, the president of Korean American Federation Los Angeles. “This motion by Councilman Wesson will go a long way to keeping our small businesses and their employees healthy and, by extension, our community as a whole.”

It was not immediately clear as to which City Council committee would first hear Wesson’s motion.

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