Photo courtesy of RI Commerce and #MaskUpRI

Newport City Council is considering expanding cloth mask regulations on some of its downtown streets.

A resolution introduced by Vice Chair Susan Taylor last week would require that “pedestrians wear masks at all hours (unless wearing a mask would be harmful to a person’s health) on the following streets: Broadway between Gould Street and Farewell Street; America’s Cup between Long Wharf and Memorial Boulevard West; Thames Street between Washington Square and Wellington Avenue”.

Update – After much discussion by council members during their City Council meeting on May 27th, this was tabled to be further discussed during a special meeting next week. 7-0.

Newport City Council, with their resolution, would go one step beyond the Governor’s order, requiring masks at all times, even when you do have at least six feet of distance from other people.

The current cloth mask order from the Governor, which went into effect on May 8th, says “any person who is in a place open to the public, whether indoors or outdoors, shall cover their mouth and nose with a mask or cloth face covering unless doing so would damage the person’s health. No person under two years of age or any person whose health would be damaged thereby shall be required to wear a face covering. Face coverings are not required for people who can easily, continuously, and measurably maintain at least six (6) feet of distance from other people. Face coverings shall also not be required of those who are developmentally unable to comply, including young children who may not be able to effectively wear a mask”.

The resolution will be discussed and voted on during the Council’s regular meeting on Wednesday, May 27th at 6:30 pm.

If passed the resolution would go into effect on Friday, May 29th. The resolution does not state how the City or Newport Police would enforce the resolution if it is passed.

The City Council will also consider a resolution that would direct the City Administration and the Public Works Department to study the benefits and impacts of closing various public roadways to cars and/or parking and deliver a recommended plan to the Council for approval at the June 10th Council meeting.

Updates will be posted here – Recap: Newport City Council Meeting (Updating)

Ryan Belmore

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.  He has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the boards of Fort Adams Trust, Lucy's Hearth, and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

In 2020, he was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.

He is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, he spent 39 years living in Rhode Island before recently moving to Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife and two rescue dogs. He still considers Rhode Island home, and visits at least once a month.