SARASOTA –– Two city streets in downtown Sarasota will partially close this weekend to assist local businesses in the economic recovery from COVID-19.
The closures will begin at 4 p.m. on both today and tomorrow, May 22-23, and all day Sunday and Monday, May 24-25, in the 1300 block of Main Street (Palm Avenue to Miramar Court) and on State Street from the State Street Garage to Lemon Avenue.
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. Signage will be in place at both partial street closures reminding residents and visitors about safe social distancing practices.
The city has already made several efforts to aid local restaurants and businesses with a speedy reopening and recovery, including waiving building permit fees for improvements to adapt to health concerns; temporarily relaxing the zoning code to encourage and facilitate outdoor dining; and creating a new no-fee, temporary outdoor cafe permit that allows for expanded outdoor seating.
“We’re doing everything we can to help our local business community quickly get back on its feet and adapt to these unprecedented challenges,” City Manager Tom Barwin said. “We’re taking the opportunity to experiment with street closures, and we encourage the public to shop and dine locally and enjoy our beautiful downtown in a safe and responsible way this holiday weekend.”