SATELLITE BEACH, Fla. – Spring break means massive crowds at Central Florida beaches, but with concerns about the spread of coronavirus, the state is crashing the party on beachgoers who’ve gathered in large numbers.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday issued an executive order stating that beachgoers must adhere to CDC guidelines concerning COVID-19, reported clickorlando.
“I direct parties accessing public beaches in the state of Florida to follow the CDC guidance by limiting their gathering to no more than 10 persons, distance themselves from other parties by 6 feet, and support beach closures at the discretion of local authorities,” DeSantis said.
Satellite Beach police said officers will crack down on violators at area beaches, which may include citations to those unwilling to comply.
“At this time, the Satellite Beach Police Department will be patrolling beaches in Satellite Beach to enforce the party size and distance measures being taken statewide to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Police Chief Jeff M. Pearson said in a statement on Facebook. “Please abide by the executive order and adhere to the required standards of limiting gatherings to no more than 10 people and maintaining 6 feet between parties at the beach.”
Florida beaches have been packed after with the closure of schools and bars.
Moreover, with the crowds is a requirement for service. According to Volusia beach safety officials, lifeguards made nearly 50 water rescues Tuesday.
“We are on the beach. We are in an open atmosphere, which I think we can use to our advantage, but one that we’re also prepared for to deal with the groups we’re seeing because we are seeing a lot (of people),” said Ray Manchester, of Volusia County Beach Safety.
Manchester said lifeguards and toll workers are equipped with supplies, including gloves and hand sanitizer, to keep them safe from coronavirus, clickorlando reported.
Officials said lifeguards will use a loudspeaker if they witness any large gatherings on the beach. Those who disobey warnings could be subjected to a second-degree misdemeanor charge, according to county leaders.