By a vote of 3-2 the Fort Myers Beach Town Council has voted to extend its Emergency Declaration requiring masks and social distancing. The ordinance carries a fine for businesses up to $500. Dan Allers and Jim Atterholt voted no.
Town Manager Roger Hernstadt can decide whether or not events take place on Fort Myers Beach and organizers have the right to object to his decision and take their case to the full town council.
There is no mask mandate in Lee County (and COVID cases are declining) or the state of Florida. Governor Desantis has stripped local municipalities from being able to collect fines for mask or social distance violations. Mayor Ray Murphy says cases are coming down because people are wearing masks but added “we’re not out of the woods yet.”
Town Attorney John Herin said today that the way he reads the Governor’s order is that the town can have a mask ordinance on the books, and issue fines, but not collect the money until the Governor clarifies his Executive Order.
As far as we know, not a single mask ordinance ticket has been written on Fort Myers Beach.