For now the decision to shutter the beaches of South Florida — the state's most popular tourist destination — comes as the Florida Department of Health reported 8,530 new coronavirus cases in the state on Sunday. On Saturday, the state reported 9,585 new coronavirus cases, a single-day record high since the beginning of the pandemic, CNN reported.
The Miami area has the most new cases in the state.
In Miami-Dade County the closures will extend beyond the weekend, with all beaches and parks closed from Friday through Tuesday. Depending on conditions, the beach could remain closed indefinitely, according to Mayor Carlos Gimenez, who also mandated masks and social distancing and limited gatherings to no more than 50 people.
Beaches in Broward County, meanwhile, will close from Friday until Sunday. On Monday, Broward Mayor Dale V.C. Holness announced a new emergency order closing beaches from Friday until Sunday.
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said: “The reason why we’re doing this is because we feel that we will not be able to provide the necessary safe environment that everyone is entitled to enjoy when they come to our beaches,”
He added that the area’s restaurants, retail shops will remain open during the beach shutdown.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis attributed the rise in cases to a backlog of testing and to socializing among young people who ignored social distancing guidelines.