St. Augustine Lifts Mandate; 'Strongly Encourages' Continued Use Of Masks

Sep 29, 2020

Following the state's lead, St. Augustine is easing up on its COVID-19 restrictions.

Although the city announced it is continuing "to encourage all residents and visitors to wear face coverings,” they are no longer mandatory.

“We recognize the time has come to proceed with Phase 3 of the reopening strategy throughout the state,” said St. Augustine City Manager John Regan in a Monday evening email to WJCT News.  “At this stage of the pandemic, businesses and dining establishments can operate confidently knowing that we continue to support and encourage their individual policies regarding masks.” 

Related: Local, State, And National Coronavirus Coverage

St. Augustine's City Commission unanimously approved the mask mandate  in June. Last Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced capacity restrictions were being lifted at restaurants and other businesses as the state progressed to Phase 3 of its reopening plan.

Although St. Augustine no longer requires people to wear masks inside private businesses, they are required at public meetings and hearings, according to the city.

All city meeting rooms are configured to maintain 6-foot social distancing and are sanitized prior to each meeting.

Anyone attending the meetings, including the public, employees and City Commissioners, are required to wear face coverings. Anyone who can’t wear a face covering must remain outside of the meeting hall.

Capacity in the Alcazar Room at City Hall has also been reduced, due to 6-foot social distancing.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.