Several businesses in Quincy, Massachusetts, have been ticketed by the city's health department for failing to comply with COVID-19 guidelines.
Alba Restaurant, Marina Bay Market, Rozafa Mediterranean Bistro, Cucina Mia Cafe and Deli, the Stop & Shop on Southern Artery and Rags Tavern all must pay fines.
"I don't blame the city," said Stephen Barrett, manager of Rags. "I don't blame the state. They got to do what they have to do, and we have to follow suit."
The health department says when a complaint comes in, inspectors go out to investigate.
They have the authority to enforce issues with social distancing, overcrowding or customers and staff not wearing masks.
"We are trying to police it as best we can," said Barrett.
Quincy Public Health Commissioner Ruth Jones says she knows businesses are trying to stay afloat in tough times, but the fines are necessary to make sure everyone is complying.
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"Guidelines still have to be followed," said Jones. "Safety is number one, so if we have to, we'll be more punitive as we go along."
The health department says it issues a warning first, usually once or twice. Then businesses get ticketed.
The fines start at $50 and go up to $300 for each occurrence.
"Stop & Shop takes the health and safety of our customers and associates very seriously," the supermarket chain said in a statement. "We can confirm that we have received one fine at our store located at 495 Southern Artery in Quincy. We immediately addressed the situation to ensure compliance with CDC guidelines as well as local and state mandates. Stop & Shop continues to take significant steps to help ensure everyone's well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic."
Besides Rags and Stop & Shop, none of the other businesses would speak on the record about the fines.