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East Coast travelers flock to Fort Myers Beach for holiday weekend

Fort Myers Beach recently enacted a mandate to wear masks in public. But even with that, fears of not social distancing on Fort Myers Beach, especially with the number of people coming down for Fourth of July, has made the mayor and other citizens concerned.

“I’m going to stay away on the actual Fourth of July,” said Marley Stevens, a retired nurse who got in her beach time ahead of the holiday.

But she said she does feel safe because she supports the mask ordinance and everyone seems to be properly following social distancing guidelines.

“Ever since, every day, everywhere I go, I wear a mask,” said Stevens.

“People have to act like adults and wear their masks. This area, I feel safe. Everybody’s spread out good and everybody seems to keep their distance when we’re walking,” Stevens added.

Julia Rosa from Boston said she won’t be wearing a mask because she hates having her rights revoked. “I hate it. I feel that my freedom is being stepped on. I don’t feel that it’s constitutional at all,” she said.

She said she’s actually grateful that it’s treated more as a recommendation here than a requirement. “In Boston, it’s required everywhere, so I feel so grateful to be in an area where it doesn’t require it as much,” Rosa said.

While most restaurants and retail stores do require masks, Rosa appreciates that’s she has the option to choose a different one. “If I have the option not to dine in there, there’s another restaurant that’s open I’ll go there,” she said.

Mayor Murphy said he does hate seeing people get tickets for not wearing masks, but at this point, it’s more about health and safety. He wants to make sure that everyone is wearing their masks and will continue to stress it.

Reporter:Michelle Mackonochie
Writer:Drew Hill
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