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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Who makes sure businesses follow the rules in the Mid-South?

We wanted to know if businesses don't play by the rules, who enforces them?

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Now that businesses are opening back up, who is going to make sure social distancing and other new regulations are followed?

At the Garden District in East Memphis, the store is open, but the owner is only allowing two people inside at a time and customers and employees must wear masks.

Whether it’s in the city or the suburbs, different types of businesses will require different regulations be followed - but at the center of it remains social distancing. Business can follow the guidelines, or make the rules even stricter than what the state requires.

So what should you do if you see a business not following the rules?

"We are going to rely heavily on the public, which has happened to date. We have received calls to 311 as well as the Mayor’s Action Center. In some cases, we have gone to law enforcement. Sometimes they go to the health department. We have a fairly coordinated approach," says Shelby County Health Director Dr. Alisa Haushalter.

The Shelby County health director says people can report business in the city of Memphis by calling 311. In the suburbs, call the health department or the municipality the business is located. Then Code or law enforcement will handle it.

"We don't want to have to cite anybody or fine anybody. We just want everyone to obey the directive and keep this disease from spreading," says Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald.

"We're already itching to go, almost all retail opened up today," says Terry Roland with the Millington Chamber of Commerce.

Roland says Millington and the rest of Shelby County are ready to get back to business. Roland doesn't think there will be an issue with businesses not following the new guidelines.

"We're going to do it voluntarily. This is the United States of America and we’re not fools. We've got pretty good sense. We know what to do and not to do and we're just going to police ourselves," says Roland.

"This is not the time to let our guard down," says McDonald.

So the bottom line, you can call the city, health department, or the municipality to report a violation - but in reality, most businesses will be policing themselves.

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