On Tuesday morning, Sanibel city leaders voted in favor of requiring masks for all individuals going into public buildings.
They will be required inside public buildings as well as restaurants prior to seating, but when seated you won’t have to wear one.
Masks will not be required on beaches, at private residences and at churches.
WHAT IS REQUIRED?
- Every person over two years of age should carry a face mask.
- Every person over two should wear a mask when closer than six feet away from another person.
- Individuals of a business (Owner, worker, patron, etc.) are required to wear a face mask while indoors within that business.
THE REQUIREMENT DOES NOT APPLY TO:
- Children under two.
- Individuals are NOT REQUIRED to wear a face mask while outdoors or anywhere with where appropriate social distancing is six feet or more.
- People who have medical conditions or disabilities in which they can’t wear a mask -individuals obtaining service at barbershop, beauty salon or type of service involving head or face.
- Restaurant or bar customers or patrons ONLY WHILE SEATED AT TABLE OR BAR
- Those exercising.
- Owners or workers of a business that is not open to customers or the public (kitchen or beverage prep area of restaurant or food establishment)
- Guests while inside of a hotel room.
The proclamation goes into effect on July 3, at 12:01 a.m. and no end date was established.
At the Island Cow on Sanibel, masks are the new norm for owner Brian Pdlasek and his employees.
“Everybody gets checked in with a mask and a temperature check for their shift,” he said.
From sanitizing tables and chairs to social distancing at tables, he’s doing everything he can to make his customers feel comfortable when eating inside, or out, like Kevin and Ann Kaminski.
“It’s not for your safety, it’s for the safety of everybody else in the store,” Kevin said.
That’s why he welcomes a mask mandate in Sanibel.
For Podlasek’s restaurant, the new rule would require customers to wear masks when they step inside, but once seated, it’s not required.
For other areas, the rule is in effect in public places where people aren’t able to social distance.
Outdoor activities like biking, walking or going to the beach would not require people to wear a mask. Vice Mayor Mick Denham says as an area heavy with visitors, the mandate is necessary, but he understands that it will be difficult to enforce.
“I don’t think we should not pass legislation because we have difficulty enforcing it,” said Vice Mayor of Sanibel Mick Denham. “I think it needs to be enforced, but I think it needs to be enforced with some care.”
Others argue it should be up to personal choice.
“I expect personal responsibilities from citizens, I want citizens to regulate themselves, not spend their time regulating others,” said councilmember, Jason Maughan.
“I think if everybody wore a mask it would really, really help a lot,” said Sanibel resident, Kenneth Burgener.
Stopping the spread one piece of fabric at a time.
The mandate goes into effect on Friday. No word yet from council members on an end date.