City implements beach restrictions for Fourth of July weekend

VERO BEACH — Non-residents will be banned from Vero’s public beaches during the Fourth of July weekend, one of the busiest beach-going times of the year, city officials announced Tuesday.

The beach restriction goes into effect from 7 a.m. Friday to 10 p.m. Sunday, city officials said. The rule applies to public beaches within the city limits of Vero Beach.

City officials said parking enforcement will also be in effect. The announcement comes after several cities across the Treasure Coast, including Vero Beach and Sebastian, postponed fireworks programs to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Indian River County has not implemented any restrictions at county beaches, spokesman Brian Sullivan said.

Vero Beach also announced that face masks are required for residents and employees in all city buildings. The city voted unanimously on the face mask mandate at a special Tuesday meeting.

The Vero Beach emergency order comes as municipalities statewide implement rules to prevent the spread of coronavirus, which has spiked in Florida over the past two weeks.

During the meeting, councilmember Rey Neville, who tuned in by phone, publicly announced he had contracted the virus. As a precaution, Neville has participated in the meetings by phone for the last two weeks.

City officials said the protective masks are encouraged, but not required, for workers inside businesses that serve the public, including restaurants, grocery stores, salons, gyms and retail stores.

Residents using public transportation in Vero Beach are required to wear face masks, city officials said.

The Vero Beach announcement comes five days after county officials laid out face mask regulations. The county’s face mask mandate went into effect at 8 a.m. Monday only for unincorporated Indian River County, not including the cities within the county.

The mandate states that face masks are required for those planning to visit county facilites or who ride the Go-Line Bus. The regulation also states employees inside businesses that serve the public are required to wear face masks.

Customers and the general public are encouraged, but not required to wear the masks. Those who violate the face mask mandates could possibly be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor, officials said.

The city of Fellsmere’s face mask mandate, similar to the county’s mandate, goes into effect Friday, officials said. Sebastian city officials were expected to hold a meeting regarding face mask requirements Wednesday afternoon.


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