Gov. DeSantis of Florida Reopening Beaches With Set of Restrictions
Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida allowed for a limited reopening of the state’s beaches on Friday, allowing the areas to be used for several specified activities.
Citizens who patronize the beaches will be required to practice social distancing, and gatherings of crowds greater than 50 people are still prohibited.
Mayor Lenny Curry announced Friday that beaches in Duval County will be accessible to the public from 6 to 11AM and 5 to 8PM. The beaches can only be used for walking, biking, hiking, fishing, running, swimming, taking care of pets and surfing.
Imagery of Jacksonville’s beaches showed them to be relatively crowded, suggesting that Floridians tired of being cooped up in self-isolation are itching to hit the state’s beaches.
Today, Florida set a record of new coronavirus cases: 1,413 in the last 24 hours.
Florida’s total cases is now 24,753.
Today, @GovRonDeSantis allowed beaches back open.
This is Jacksonville beach one hour ago: pic.twitter.com/oV5b1GTRy8
— Joshua Karp (@JoshuaKarp) April 17, 2020
In Volusia County, lifeguards have given more than 1,000 warnings to people for taking part in what are deemed to be non-essential activities on the beaches.
The governor has justified the reopening of beaches in a news conference Friday, arguing that the state’s citizens need venues to exercise and leave their homes without a high risk of spreading the disease. Data has emerged suggesting that the disease is far less likely to spread outside than it is inside buildings.
Providing reasonable and regulated means for Americans to engage in everyday activities may prove essential towards encouraging the general public to avoid hazardous activities where the virus could be spread.