Beaches in several Florida counties will be closed during the upcoming holiday weekend as the state responds to record numbers of cases of COVID-19.
Broward County along with Miami-Dade and Palm Beach County have each announced their beaches and parks would be closed beginning July 3.
Florida has over 146,000 cases and more then 3,400 confirmed deaths due to the coronavirus after reporting record daily numbers this past week.
Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis said during a press conference This weekend that residents of the state particularly young citizens were becoming comfortable and ignoring restrictions on public gatherings.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in his statement announcing the closures, that he’s “been seeing too many businesses and people ignoring these lifesaving rules” including wearing a face covering and social distancing.
If people are not going to be responsible and protect themselves and others from this pandemic, then the government is forced to step in and restore common sense to save lives,” he said.
Broward Deputy County Administrator Monica Cepero echoed Gimenez. “Although closing our beaches on a holiday weekend may be an unpopular decision for some, it is the responsible action for the County to take,” Cepero said in a statement. “Broward County and its municipalities take public safety actions seriously, as we believe it will help mitigate the spread of the virus and protect our residents and our community.”
All of the announcements reiterated the potential penalties for not adhering to these guidelines including a potential $500 fine and 180 days in jail in Miami-Date County.