LIDO KEY, Fla. (WFLA) – After being closed for two months, Lido Beach is officially back open to the public.
Sarasota commissioners voted 4 to 1 Monday to reopen the public beach on Lido Key. Commissioner Willie Shaw made the motion, seconded by Commissioner Hagen Brody.
Crews will take down barricades at beach accesses Tuesday morning.
Commissioner Brody stressed how significant Lido Beach traffic is to small businesses on St. Armands Circle. He told commissioners around 10 businesses on the circle have gone out of business since the pandemic started.
“They are living this day by day, hour by hour,” said Commissioner Brody.
Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch explained that she doesn’t want the community to get the wrong impression by the beach reopening, but ultimately supported the motion to reopen.
“If you don’t feel safe, don’t go out,” said Mayor Ahearn-Koch.
Vice-Mayor Shelli Freeland Eddie is the only member of the commission who did not support the motion. She said her concern is that city leaders are “inviting the spread of this virus” without putting restrictions in place.
The City of Sarasota continues encouraging residents to adhere by CDC guidelines.
“Citizens are advised to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for safe social distancing in public to help stop the spread of COVID-19. City residents are also strongly urged to wear protective masks when leaving home under the City’s local public health emergency declaration,” said city staff.