Today’s Sanibel news & headlines
Breaking Sanibel news: In a special meeting on June 30th, 2020 the Sanibel City Council voted in support of several preventative measures regarding the increase in COVID-19 cases around Florida and the US. The measures include the following:
· Sanibel will now require the use of Face Coverings in most cases (with certain exceptions).
· The City of Sanibel enacted a temporary closure of City-owned Paid Beach Parking Lots from 12:01 a.m. July 3, 2020 through 11:59 p.m. July 6, 2020.
· The Local State of Emergency has been extended through July 7, 2020.
Other Sanibel news
Sanibel News: The City of Sanibel issues ‘No alcohol allowed‘ policy on beaches ahead of July 4 weekend. If you get caught with alcohol on the beach, you could face a $500 fine. This is according to Sanibel Police Chief William Dalton. The policy is intended to cut down on day trip “partiers” who may not adhere to social distancing and other safety measures when consuming alcohol over the holiday weekend.
Sanibel News: First leatherback hatchlings emerge from the sands of Sanibel-Captiva
A total of 56 leatherback turtle hatchlings emerged from the sand in a race to the sea on Sunday. Experts at the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation are pretty confident the hatchlings are the babies of a Turtle affectionately named Juniper; She often lays her eggs on area beaches. You can do your part to help hatchlings make it safely to the sea by keeping the beach clear of obstructions, filling in holes, and keeping the night dark with blackout shades or turning lights off.
Additional Sanibel News regarding the City Council Mandates
You don’t need to wear a mask while on the beach!
Face Covering Proclamation
For the purposes of this restriction, the following terms are defined as follows:
· “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.
· “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. The news reports that this includes locations where for-profit, non-profit, and governmental entities facilitate public interactions and conduct business. It does not include places of religious worship, such as churches and synagogues.
1. Every person over two years of age who is away from his or her place of residence should carry a face covering capable of immediate use.
2. Every person over two years of age who is away from his or her residence should wear a face covering when closer than six feet to another person with whom he or she does not reside.
3. 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.
4. Individuals are not required to wear a face covering while outdoors in public areas anywhere with appropriate social distancing of six 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.
5. The requirement to wear a face covering does not apply to any of the following individuals (although such individuals are not prohibited by this restriction from wearing face coverings if they so choose):
· Children under two 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. News of bar closures may affect this on Sanibel.
· 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 six feet of distance exists between any owners or workers. This 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.
6. Violations are subject to fines of $50 per violation. Businesses or other places of public accommodation are encouraged to post signage of this Proclamation and adopt a “no mask, no service” policy to facilitate enforcement. This may be good news for Sanibel, which has continued to have very low incidents of COVID-19.
Closure of City owned parking lots
Effective from 12:01 a.m. July 3, 2020 through 11:59 p.m. July 6, 2020, the following City of Sanibel owned paid beach parking facilities will be closed:
· Blind Pass parking lot,
· Gulfside City Park (Algiers) parking lot,
· Lighthouse Beach & Fishing Pier parking lot,
· Tarpon Bay Beach parking lot,
· Trost parking lot,
· City boat ramp parking lot, except the City boat ramp parking lot closure shall not prohibit “A” and “AC” parking permit holders to utilize the facilities or parking at the City boat ramp.
Additionally, the City’s Home Page includes other news, as well as a direct link to the Florida Department of Health daily dashboard as well as the State-wide statistics released to the City sorted by zip code.