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On Monday, May 18, 2020, nearly two months to the day it closed and in anticipation of the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend, the St. Augustine and St. Johns County Visitor Information Center (VIC) will re-open to the public with modifications that follow CDC recommended guidelines. The restricted occupancy rate will be observed with a limit of 129 guests permitted in the building at one time.
Accessing the VIC will be through a singular point of entry, following a marked path with six-foot intervals to keep guests appropriately distanced while they wait to enter the building, if necessary. Once inside, visitors will be asked to observe appropriate social distancing while exploring the exhibits and the gift shop.
“Our VIC staff and the entire St. Augustine community of workers and business owners is taking very seriously the need for keeping each other safe,” observed City Manager John Manager. “By opening our doors to visitors, whether they are coming from near or far… we just want everyone to feel safe and know that we are providing a safe destination.”
The city offered affordable, bulk quantities of face masks for purchase to local businesses as part of a safe re-opening strategy. “So far, we have sold over 87,000 masks to more than 140 businesses, and we continue to get requests daily,” Regan said. “Clearly our community is doing its part to ensure a safe re-opening, and we can only keep it that way if everyone joins us in this effort.” Boxes of 50 face masks will be available for purchase, with a two-box limit per customer. Individually wrapped face masks are currently on order and will be available for purchase in the gift shop when they arrive. Hand sanitizer will be available for purchase, as well.
Other signs of implementing the CDC guidelines inside the building include a large double-sided hand sanitizer dispenser centrally located upon entering the building, blue tape lines for safe distancing while waiting in line for the concierge and entering the gift shop, prominently displayed reminder signs for social distancing, and all city employees will be wearing face masks.
VIC Ambassadors will be available to answer questions and monitor the crowd.
While there is a single point of exit for the general public, in the event of an emergency, all external doors will remain accessible.