City of Sarasota makes masks mandatory for most indoor and outdoor public settings

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. 

Exceptions include:

•    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. 

RELATED; 5,266 new Florida coronavirus cases in Monday's update; 28 new deaths