City of Sarasota's mask mandate begins Wednesday

Starting July 1, the city of Sarasota's face mask order goes into effect.

Anyone over the age of 18 will be required to wear face coverings in any indoor establishment within the city's limits and outdoors when it's not possible to properly social distance.

The ordinance will be active for two months, but could be extended or modified. Sarasota city commissioners voted to approve the face-coverings mandate on Monday. It passed 4 to 1.

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

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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.

Sarasota is the 8th city or county in the Tampa Bay area to require face masks, joining Hillsborough County, the city of Tampa, Pinellas County, the city of St. Petersburg and Pasco County.

Manatee County chose not to vote on a mask ordinance, but two cities within the county are requiring them: Anna Maria Island and Holmes Beach.