After 12 weeks of empty beaches, Miami-Dade County reopened sandy shores for visitors Wednesday, June 10. While beaches were originally slated to open on June 1, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez pushed back the date, announcing that beaches would remain closed while the county remained under curfew due to police brutality protests continuing after George Floyd’s death.
Following 10 days of restrictions, Gimenez announced an end to the curfew June 8 and that beaches would be able to reopen June 10.
Preceding the official opening, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said there would be strict rules to limit the spread of COVID-19 on the beaches, CBS4 reported.
“We are obviously going to be careful but we cannot stay closed forever,” Gelber told CBS4 reporters. “We are as prepared as we can be.”
While South Florida beachgoers can once again enjoy the sun and waves, there are several guidelines they are required to follow in order to maintain proper social distancing and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Stationed at beach entrances, beach ambassadors wearing pink shirts and police officers are present to readily remind visitors of new rules and aid in enforcement, The Miami Herald reported.
For those planning a beach day in the near future, here are several rules and guidelines to be aware of.
- Feeling sick? Stay home. Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 is asked not to go to beaches or parks.
- The City of Miami’s two public beaches are open but with restricted hours. Virginia Key Beach Park and North Point beaches are open from 9:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily while the park is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Historic Virginia Key Beach Park will be open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Keep groups small. At Miami-Dade beaches, groups larger than 10 people are not permitted.
- Bring a face covering. All beachgoers must have facial coverings with them to show to beach patrol or police officers present and must keep them on at all times when 6-feet social distancing is not possible, unless visitors are of the same household. Children under the age of 2 or anyone with breathing problems due to a chronic condition is exempt from this. Masks are not required when in the ocean.
- Keep masks on in bathrooms and at vendor stands. Masks will be required in these areas and access to bathrooms will be limited in order to maintain social distancing.
- Leave footballs or other sporting goods at home. Organized group activities for two or more people, such as beach volleyball or a game of frisbee, will not be allowed.
- Food is allowed on the beach, but picnic pavilions will be off-limits.
- Several items and activities are prohibited. This includes canopies, tents, glass bottles, alcohol and fishing, unless at designated fishing areas. At Miami beach, floaties, inflatable devices and coolers are also prohibited.
- Dogs are only allowed at designated dog-friendly beaches. A full list of beaches welcoming dogs can be found here.