Manatee County Commissioners open County boat ramps, extend local curfew seven days, lift private property restrictions

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Manatee County Commissioners open County boat ramps, extend local curfew seven days, lift private property restrictions
Posted on 04/10/2020

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (April 10, 2020) – Manatee County Commissioners today voted to open County boat ramps on by Monday, April 13 at 3 p.m. The Board also extended a local curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. and enacted a new local emergency resolution that reaffirms law enforcement's ability to cite individuals who violate group gathering restrictions in public places.

The resolution, however, removes local restrictions on private property which was a part of the action Commissioners took last Friday. It was an action Commissioners took at the recommendation of the Manatee County Policy Group, comprised of county, Sheriff's Office, fire and municipal and police representatives. That group did not want local restrictions to interfere with the ability of Manatee County residents to gather during holiday weekends.

"The curfew has brought the proper amount of attention to the Executive Order and people have listened to what (the County Commission) has to say," said Sheriff Rick Wells. "We are trying to limit the number of people on the roadway at night. We are not trying to restrict their freedoms."

Commissioners urged residents to continue to abide by social distancing guidelines set by the CDC. They voted 4-3 to open boat ramps as a way to restore the business — and for some, the livelihood — of local fishermen out of work, wanting to feed others.

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.

"Manatee County residents will have an even greater responsibility to practice personal protective measures such as adhering to CDC guidelines of no more than 10 people in a gathering, and they should remain 6 feet apart from one another," Saur said.

Boat ramps will be open for boaters and their trailers only beginning at 3 p.m. on Monday, April 13. Beaches remain closed until further notice.

Commissioners today also agreed to send a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis asking him to extend state executive orders restricting vacation rentals from April 10 until April 30.

Today was the Commission's first virtual meeting and each Commissioner participated in the meeting by video conference. The meeting can be viewed on and on Manatee Government Access (MGA) Spectrum channel 644, Verizon channel 30 and Comcast channel 20.

The supplemental emergency resolution today extends a temporary local curfew and provides local law enforcement agencies the ability to enforce group gathering restrictions on public property, in conjunction with Governor DeSantis' Executive Order 20-91 & 20-92.

View the latest on Manatee County's community-wide effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by visiting or text ManateeReady to 888-777. For more information on Manatee County Government, visit or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter, @ManateeGov.