NewsSarasota, Manatee County


Holmes Beach passes ordinance requiring face masks in public

Ordinance is in effect starting Sunday, June 28
Posted at 8:28 PM, Jun 26, 2020

HOLMES BEACH, Fla. -- The city of Holmes Beach, located on Anna Maria Island, voted unanimously on Thursday to require people to wear face masks in public.

The ordinance goes into effect on Sunday, June 28 at 5 p.m.

Kathy Smart operates Minnie's Beach Cafe. She supports an ordinance requiring face masks in public. She said most of her customers did not wear a face covering.

"The main concern was that nobody was wearing a mask. It wasn't that a few people weren't wearing masks, nobody was wearing masks. The beaches were just getting so crowded," said Smart.

Officials with the city of Holmes Beach hope the ordinance helps prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Face coverings will be mandatory inside a business or public building.

The ordinance does not apply to restaurant customers who are eating or drinking.

For those who don't comply, they face a $250 fine for the first offense and a $500 fine for every other offense.

"I just want everybody to stay safe," said Smart.

Vinny Esposito, owner of the Italian Kitchen on Holmes Beach, said he supports the ordinance requiring face coverings.

"As long as the official people of the island put it into action, we will follow it. It's law and order. If that's what they want, that's what we'll do," said Esposito.

The city of Anna Maria passed a similar ordinance requiring face masks. It goes into effect this weekend.

To view a copy of the Holmes Beach ordinance, click here.