Florida Governor Allows Some Beaches to Reopen

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On Friday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis gave the go ahead for some beaches and parks to reopen after being shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

During a press conference, DeSantis said municipalities should reopen beaches and parks if they believe it can be done safely and while maintaining social distancing protocols, reported the Tampa Bay Times.

“Do it in a good way. Do it in a safe way,” DeSantis said.

The governor’s remarks come as Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry announced Duval County beaches would reopen on Friday to allow residents to hike, bike, swim, run and take care of their pets.

The north Florida beaches will be open daily between the hours of 6am - 11am and 5pm - 8pm.

"Folks, this could be the beginning of the pathway back to normal life, but please respect and follow these limitations," Curry said. "We'll get back to life as we know it but we must be patient."

While the beaches will be open, sunbathing, chairs, coolers and gatherings of large groups will still be prohibited.

Most beach parking will also remain shut down.

After facing criticism in late March for failing to close state beaches, Governor DeSantis issued an official statewide stay-at-home order on April 1, which was set to last for 30 days.

According to the Florida Department of Health, there have been 24,119 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with at least 686 coronavirus-related deaths.

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