Restaurants and Shops are Open in the City of Sarasota, so why is Lido Beach Closed?

Why is Lido Beach Still Closed?

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Salons were officially allowed to join beaches, restaurants and shops in reopening today. As Florida continues to follow the governor’s phase one plan of getting things back to normal, The City of Sarasota is taking things a little bit slower. Lido Beach will remain closed until at least next Monday, May 18th.

“I think it doesn’t make sense, there are people that go on there in the morning and evenings and it’s pretty well maintained in the sense of social distancing," said Dave Lavanty, a renter on Lido Beach. "So I don’t see any reason why they should keep it closed.”

Although all other beaches in Sarasota County have reopened fully over the last week, officials from the City of Sarasota say they are playing it safe.

“The last thing we want is for something like this to happen too quickly, and then it back fires. If it backfires, the most damage will be not only to our health, but to our economy, and that’s the last thing that anyone wants,” explained Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch.

More testing has just become available throughout the county – especially for those without symptoms – so City Commissioners are hoping that will be able to give them a better look at whether or not the virus is under control throughout the city.

Plus, since the Governor's Phase One plan did not mandate the opening of city beaches, Sarasota officials say they'll wait.

"What we ultimately decided to do, one of the criteria on the White House's website is that you have robust testing and we just started that on Sunday, so our cautious approach is that we wait for some of those results to come back and hopefully they will come back and give us the declining trajectory that we're looking for,” said Mayor Ahearn-Koch.

While businesses and residents are anxiously awaiting to get back to normal, many say they know we all have to be smart about the next steps.

“We check the number of cases daily, and if we see them start to rise, we’re just going to have to stay indoors again,” said Sarasota resident, Erik Neikrug.

The City Commission will be meeting again on Monday. May18th to vote on whether or not to reopen Lido Beach.

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