The city of Bradenton is joining other local governments—including the city of Sarasota, Holmes Beach, Anna Maria Island and the Longboat Key—in issuing a mask ordinance. Starting Friday, July 17, businesses will be required to display signage encouraging the public to wear masks.
"The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Manatee County has increased significantly since additional reopenings were authorized under Phase 2 of the governor's plan for Florida's recovery," the ordinance reads. "Based on advice from medical professionals that confirmed cases of COVID-19 will increase exponentially if additional measures to stop or slow the spread of COVID-19, the city council resolves that it is in the best interests of the City of Bradenton and in the furtherance of public health to formally require signage by business establishments regarding the wearing of face coverings."
However, although business owners that don't post signage are subject to a warning and potentially a $75 fine, the ordinance does not mandate that they enforce mask-wearing: "Nothing contained herein shall be construed to mandate the wearing of face coverings nor require the owner or operator of any business establishment to mandate or otherwise enforce the wearing of face coverings," the order says.
The ordinance will be in effect for 60 days, unless it is repealed or extended.