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Collier County Tourist Development Council to discuss mask mandate

Collier County Tourist Development Council will discuss making masks mandatory in the county at its Wednesday meeting. The county decided against it recently, but the tourism council is revisiting it.

The director of Collier County tourism says all they can give to the county commission is a recommendation. They are not putting any policies in place.

Still, visitors we spoke to Tuesday had mixed opinions about the idea of making masks mandatory.

“It’s one of those things, you know, there are two sides of this thing,” said Jay Bettman from Ohio.

“We are all for it, said Ana Hernandez from Miami.

“I think they should leave it to each individual business,” said Carlos Martinez from Miami.

Ana and Juan Hernandez were visiting Collier County from Miami, and they said they would be more comfortable if Naples was as strict as where they are from.

“I see a lot of people not wearing it,” Juan said. “And I don’t know why, but it has to be done.”

“I would really feel safer if everyone would be wearing it,” Ana said.

The couple thinks it would help tourists feel more at ease while visiting. While other visitors say they will follow the rules when they need to.

“When you go to an establishment, and they have a mask requirement, by all means, I’ll wear it,” Martinez said

But Martinez doesn’t think making masks will help tourism.

“I think the mask-wearing community with all due respect, not the going out and going all over the country on a plane community,” Martinez said.

And Mary Bettman from Ohio says, if there was already a mask mandate in place, they might not have visited the area.

“If it became a huge fear factor and mandate, I think we would have been, maybe we wait,” Bettman said. “I think it will detour it.”

We reached out to the City of Naples and were told the city is monitoring the issue and will take action as needed. The tourism development council meeting begins 1 p.m. Wednesday

Reporter:Taylor Smith
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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