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Manatee County no longer requires face masks indoors

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — On Tuesday, Manatee County commissioners voted four to three to repeal the county’s mask mandate — meaning people are no longer required to wear masks indoors where they cannot socially distance.

“It’s our choice and I choose not to wear one,” said Janet Mixon, co-owner of Mixon Fruit Farms who says she is relieved.

But some businesses, like Anna Maria Oyster Bar, have decided to continue requiring masks because they want their customers to feel safe.

“We encourage you to wear a mask until it gets a little better,” said Lynn Horne, managing partner of Anna Maria Oyster Bar.

Manatee County says the governor’s executive order took away their ability to enforce the mask requirement.

However, Pinellas County sent a statement out on Monday that they are keeping their mask mandate. They say the governor’s order revoked mask fines for individuals, but they’re still able to enforce rules on businesses.

Manatee County commissioners did approve a new proclamation that “strongly encourages” wearing a mask in situations where social distancing is not possible.

Manatee County schools will continue to mandate masks.

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