Florida beaches will close for Fourth of July weekend over coronavirus concerns
Several counties announce beach closures as 9,500 new cases reported on Saturday
In a statement, Miami-Dade County mayor Carols Gimenez condemned those who were not adhering to measures on social-distancing and mask-wearing and appealed to ¡°common sense¡±.
The mayor also warned that Miami¡¯s beaches and parks could continue to be closed-down.
¡°As we continue to see more Covid-19 positive test results among young adults and rising hospitalisations, I have decided that the only prudent thing to do to tamp down this recent uptick is to crack down on recreational activities that put our overall community at higher risk,¡± said Mr Gimenez.
He added that ¡°this new order will be targeting those who are being most irresponsible and endangering our community¡¯s health and our economic recovery.¡±
All beaches and parks in Miami-Dade County will close between Friday 3 July and Tuesday 7 July, whilst gatherings and parades with more than 50 persons are prohibited.
At the same time, beaches in Fort Lauderdale and Broward County will be closed between Friday 3 July and Sunday 5 July, said mayor Dean Trantalis on Sunday.
¡°The reason why we¡¯re doing this is because we feel that we will not be able to provide the necessary safe environment that everyone is entitled to enjoy when they come to our beaches,¡± said Mr Trantalis.
¡°Our businesses will remain open -- all the restaurants, all the T-shirt shops, all the retail shops -- everything will be open,¡± he continued. ¡°But, unfortunately, because we normally anticipate large crowds, perhaps even coming from other counties, that we made this decision to move forward.¡±
Still, crowds lambasted Broward County authorities who made that announcement, with some shouting slogans such as ¡°Freedom¡± and ¡°This is America¡±, said CNN.
Palm Beach County mayor Dave Kerner told the news outlet on Sunday that he would also announce plans to shut-down beaches this weekend.
¡°It is an unfortunate result, but public health remains the focus of the elected leaders of Palm Beach County,¡± said Mr Kerner. ¡°Unfortunately, this Fourth of July will not be spent at the beach.¡±
Those announcements came as more than 9,500 new Covid-19 cases were reported in Florida on Saturday, surpassing the previous 24-hour high seen on Friday, which had 9,000 new cases.
Florida has now seen almost new-24 hour highs each day since mid-June, and some 132,000 cases 3,300 deaths overall.