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East County Friday, Apr. 10, 2020 3 months ago

Manatee County extends curfew, opens boat ramps

Friday's action rescinds the ability of law enforcement officials to go on private property if they suspect groups of more than 10 are gathered.
by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

Manatee County commissioners today extended a 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew to help address the COVID-19 pandemic, but made modifications to last week's resolution which rescinds the ability of law enforcement officers to go on private property if they suspect groups of more than 10 people are gathering.

The commissioners also voted to open county boat ramps by April 13 at 3 p.m.

The curfew prohibits non-essential travel (travel that is not for food, medicine, essential supplies or employment), seven days a week.

Commissioners followed the advice of the Manatee County Policy Group, comprised of county, Sheriff's Office, fire and municipal and police representatives to rescind last week's resolution which gave law enforcement representatives to go on private property if they suspected groups of more than 10 people were gathering. A Manatee County press release said the Manatee County Policy Group did not want local restrictions to interfere with the ability of residents to gather during holiday weekends. 

The commissioners voted 4-3 to open boat ramps as a way to restore business to out-of-work fishermen. Public beaches remain closed.

The county press release said that Public Safety Director Jacob Saur pointed to federal projections that show the COVID-19 pandemic will peak in Florida over the next two weeks, a critical stretch when people should do all they can to observe social distancing. 

On April 3, commissioners voted to 5-2 to approve the curfew. The curfew must be extended every seven days but can be continued by the commission's board chairman. 

The state's website,, now contains a list of essential services and business residents can review.

The board also also unanimously extended by seven days Gov. Ron DeSantis' order suspending vacation rental operations.

To view agenda documents considered, visit the county's website


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