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City council votes on masks, temporarily closes parking

June 30, 2020
By TIFFANY REPECKI ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

During a special meeting today, the Sanibel City Council approved the mandatory wearing of face coverings and the temporary closure of all city-owned and -operated, paid beach parking lots.

The council voted 3-1 to require masks or face coverings effective July 3 at 12:01 a.m., with certain exceptions. Exclusions include places of worship, on beaches, on the Shared Use Path and such.

It also voted 3-1 to close its paid beach parking from July 3 at 12:01 a.m. to July 6 at 11:59 p.m. An exception was made for holders of A and AC parking stickers utilizing the Sanibel Boat Ramp.

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Vice Mayor Mick Denham and Councilmembers Richard Johnson and Holly Smith voted in favor of the motions, while Councilmember Jason Maughan cast the sole dissenting vote on each measure.

Mayor Kevin Ruane had an excused absence from the meeting. In a correspondence read aloud, he reported that his mother had been in a serious accident out of state and he was traveling to be with her.

The council also extended the city's state of local emergency through July 7.

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After the meeting, the city released the following details:


For the purposes of the restriction, "face covering" means a breathable material that covers the nose and mouth of an individual, secured with ties or straps or otherwise wrapped around the lower face, whether purchased, homemade or improvised, and "business or other place of public accommodation" means a location with a roof overhead under which any business is conducted, goods are made or stored or processed, or where services are rendered, which includes locations where for-profit, non-profit, and governmental entities facilitate public interactions and conduct business, but it does not include places of religious worship, such as churches and synagogues.

- Every person over 2 years of age who is away from his or her place of residence should carry a face covering capable of immediate use.

- Every person over 2 years of age who is away from his or her residence should wear a face covering when closer than 6 feet to another person with whom he or she does not reside.

- Individuals - whether an owner, worker, patron, or otherwise - of a business or other place of public accommodation are required to wear a face covering while indoors within that business or public accommodation.

- Individuals are not required to wear a face covering while outdoors in public areas anywhere with appropriate social distancing of 6 or more feet between individuals who do not reside together, including but without limitation, at the beach, on the shared use path, or playing golf.

- Violations are subject to fines of $50 per violation. Businesses or other places of public accommodation are encouraged to post signage of the proclamation and adopt a "no mask, no service" policy to facilitate enforcement.

- The requirement to wear a face covering does not apply to any of the following individuals (although such individuals are not prohibited by the restriction from wearing face coverings if they so choose):

- Children under 2 years of age.

- Individuals who have one or more medical conditions or disabilities that prevent wearing a mask or otherwise would cause impairment due to an existing health condition.

- Individuals obtaining a service from a barbershop, beauty salon, or other type of service involving the head or face, where temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service.

- Individuals who are engaged in work where use of a face covering will not be compatible with the duties of the profession.

- Restaurant or bar customers or patrons, only while seated at a table or bar.

- Individuals who are exercising.

- Owners or workers in an area of the business or other place of public accommodation that is not open to customers, patrons, or the public, provided that 6 feet of distance exists between any owners or workers. The exception does not apply to owners or workers in the kitchen or other food and beverage preparation area of a restaurant or food establishment.

- Guests when inside of a hotel room, motel room, vacation rental unit, timeshare unit, or similar unit.

- Individuals worshiping in a church, synagogue or other place of religious worship.


Effective from 12:01 a.m. July 3 through 11:59 p.m. July 6, the following city-owned paid beach parking facilities will be closed:

- Blind Pass parking lot

- Gulfside City Park (Algiers) parking lot

- Lighthouse Beach and Fishing Pier parking lot

- Tarpon Bay Beach parking lot

- Trost parking lot

- City boat ramp parking lot, except the closure shall not prohibit "A" and "AC" parking permit holders to utilize the facilities or park at the city boat ramp

A full story on the meeting is forthcoming.



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