Manatee County Commissioners several times over the last week discussed making it mandatory to require face-coverings when in public places and businesses, they though did not take that step.
However, Yesterday (6-25-20) Holmes Beach City Commissioners voted 5-0... to require face coverings in businesses and public buildings, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The penalty for not complying is severe. A first-time violator will be subjected to a $250 fine, per the ordinance, the penalty would then be increased to $500 for each subsequent offense.
This new emergency ordinance within Holmes Beach, will go into effect at 5 p.m. this Sunday (6-28-20).
What does the ordinance state:
It requires people to wear face coverings, which the ordinance defines as:
Any material that covers the nose and mouth, inside of businesses and public buildings, excluding schools.
The rule also applies to owners, managers and employees as well as customers. It can be enforced by code compliance and law enforcement officers with the above listed fines.
Business operators will also be required to enforce the ordinance or face administrative fines.
There are a few exceptions to the new mask mandate:
Restaurant/bar customers who are eating or drinking while seated.
Gym patrons engaged in a workout or class where at least 6 feet of social distance is maintained between people.
Barbershop or beauty salon customers “when wearing a face covering would reasonably interfere with receiving services.”
Business operators and employees who are in an area of the business not open to the public and who are maintaining at leas 6 feet of social distance between one another (this does not apply to kitchens and food preparation areas).
The ordinance also includes recommendations for mask use, including advice that every person over the age of 6 carry a face covering when outside of the home and be prepared to use it in situations when social distancing is not maintained.
It will expire in 60 days unless it is reenacted.
Holmes Beach may be just the first of Manatee County's Three Barrier Islands, to enact a Face Mask Law.
This coming Tuesday (6-30-20), there will be a special meeting of the Bradenton Beach City Commission to discuss the extension of a local state of emergency and other items related to to COVID-19.
Om Thursday (7-2-20) next week, the Anna Maria City Commission is scheduled to have a discussion regarding face masks, due to COVID-19. .
Just to our north, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties have issued Face Mask ordinances.