On Thursday, the Board of County Commissioners adopted a new Mask Order to replace the one that had been in effect since July 21 and was expiring.
This post explains what the Order says, who it applies to, who is responsible for compliance and enforcement, and how it differs from the first Order.
”An owner, manager, employee, customer or patron of a business establishment must wear a face covering while in that business establishment where social distancing is not possible.”Board of County Commissioners Executive Order No. 2020-__
The Order applies to businesses located within unincorporated Collier County but not to those within one of the County’s municipalities (i.e. City of Naples, City of Marco Island, City of Everglades City).
The Order specifically does not apply to:
- restaurant customers while dining and/or consuming beverages while seated at a table;
- gym patrons engaged in a workout or class where at least 6 feet of distancing exists with the next closest patron;
- barbershop or beauty salon customers when wearing a face covering would interfere with receiving services;
- business owners, managers, and employees in an area of a business establishment not open to the public, if six feet of distance exists between them;
- bar patrons while consuming beverages and/or food; and
- lodging establishment guests when inside the lodging unit.
To further clarify in response to questions, the Order does not apply to the Collier County School District or hospitals, according to County Attorney Jeff Klatzkow at a September 3 Special Board of County Commissioners meeting.
If a customer says s/he has a disability that prevents her/him from wearing a mask, it is up to the business whether or not to deny the customer admission to the business. This is because an unmasked customer may pose a threat to the health and safety of others. If a business refuses the customer entry, it “shall” accommodate the customer in another way (e.g. by providing curbside delivery).
As with the first Order, the vote to adopt the Order was 3-2. Commission Chairman Burt Saunders (District 3) and Commissioners Andy Solis (District 2) and Penny Taylor (District 4) voted yes, and Commissioners Donna Fiala (District 1) and Bill McDaniel (District 5) voted no.
Businesses are responsible for compliance. Specifically:
“The owner, operator, manager, and employee of a business or lodging establishment shall ensure that every individual in that establishment complies.”
The penalty for violating the Order is a fine of up to $500.00.
The Order is complaint-driven and the goal is compliance. A penalty would only be assessed after:
- a complaint is received by the Collier County Code Enforcement Division (239-252-2440),
- Code Enforcement determines there has been a violation, and
- the alleged violator refuses to voluntarily comply with the Order.
Importantly, only businesses, not individuals, may be cited under this Order.
Also importantly, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office has no responsibility or authority under the Order and a violation of the Order is not a crime.
The Order expires at midnight on April 13, 2021.
Difference from July 21 Order
Unlike the initial Order, this Order regulates only those situations where people are crowded together in a business establishment, such as a movie theater. The words “where social distancing is not possible,” which were not in the initial Order, were added in this one:
“An owner, manager, employee, customer or patron of a business establishment must wear a face covering while in that business establishment where social distancing is not possible.”
Using Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, the Order defines social distancing as:
”keeping a safe space between yourself and other people who are not from your household by staying at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people who are not from your household in indoor spaces.”
For more information
Initial Mask Order
- Collier County Emergency/Executive Order No. 2020-05, 7/21/20
- Collier County Face Covering Order 20200-05 Q&A
Extension of initial Mask Order
New Mask Order