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Casey Key Beach

COVID-19 and Sarasota Beaches

What you need to know regarding Sarasota County beaches and COVID-19

October 14, 2020

Sarasota County beaches are currently open during the COVID-19 pandemic. So you can still enjoy a day at the beach, if you keep some important safety restrictions and recommendations in mind.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there is no evidence that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can spread to people through water. But because it’s most typically spread person-to-person via respiratory droplets that are released when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks, you’ll want to follow precautions if you’re heading to a beach where you’ll be in proximity to other people. It’s not going to the beach that’s especially risky; it’s your potential encounters with other people while there.

The CDC offers a variety of recommendations for safely visiting beaches and pools during the COVID-19 pandemic. Key tips include:

  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance in and out of the water from people you don’t live with.
  • Wear a mask when you’re not in the water.
  • Wash hands often and avoid sharing items with people you don’t live with.

When visiting Sarasota County beaches, groups should be kept to 10 people or less and stay at least 6 feet apart from others.

The City of Sarasota currently requires that face coverings be worn in indoor and outdoor public locations and businesses within the City of Sarasota (which includes Lido Key and Lido Beach). Masks are required in outdoor public spaces unless you are staying 6 feet apart from others or are exercising outdoors while also maintaining physical distancing. Children under age 18 are exempt from these requirements. Find more information about City of Sarasota mask requirements and enforcement policies here.

The City of Venice has also passed an ordinance requiring face coverings when visiting public indoor and outdoor spaces. Face coverings are not required when physical distancing is possible or when someone is exercising outdoors while also maintaining physical distancing. Children under age 6 are exempt from the requirements. Find more information about City of Venice mask requirements and enforcement policies here.

Other locations in Sarasota County are operating under Florida Health’s public health advisory to wear masks in public and socially distance.

Before heading to the beach, get informed about what’s currently going on in Sarasota County by checking out Visit Sarasota County’s COVID-19 FAQs page and Beach and Weather Conditions and Travel Alerts page. Sarasota County’s park closure report offers up-to-date info on whether beaches and parks are open, partially open or closed. Sarasota County also has a dedicated COVID-19 page.

Visit Florida’s COVID Travel Safety Information page offers statewide information and resources. For more information about visiting the beach during the COVID-19 pandemic, check out resources from the Surfrider Foundation and Cleveland Clinic.

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