SARASOTA, Fla. - After several hours of discussion, city of Sarasota commissioners voted Monday to make face-coverings mandatory at most indoor and outdoor public spaces as part of the effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The order, which passed 4 to 1, makes masks mandatory inside all businesses in the city and also in all outdoor places where social distancing is not possible.
• Children under the age of 18
• Schools, daycares and non-city government agencies
• People for whom a face covering would cause impairment due to an existing health condition
• Those working in a business or profession who do not interact with others, who maintain physical or social distancing from others or where a face covering would prevent them from performing their duties
• Those who are outdoors or exercising while maintaining physical distancing
• Those who are eating or drinking
It will go into effect at midnight on July 1 and will be in effect for 60 days, though the commission can revise the order over the next week.
Violations of the mask requirement could result in a civil, non-criminal infraction with penalties up to a $500 fine. An email and phone line for concerns, questions and more information will be available soon, the city said.
The city is also giving away 50,000 masks.