Coronavirus: Florida to open beaches despite rising infection rates

Some beaches in north Florida will reopen a day after Donald Trump announced guidelines for states and local governments to begin relaxing coronavirus quarantine efforts.

Jacksonville’s mayor, Lenny Curry, said it marked the “beginning to a pathway back to normal life” when beaches re-open from 5pm to 8pm on Friday.

“We’ll get back to life as we know it but we must be patient,” he added.

The beaches will remain open for ”limited” activity — walking, biking, hiking, fishing, running, swimming, walking pets and surfing—  from 6am to 11am and 5pm to 8 pm daily.

Duval County beaches have been closed since 21 March.

Health officials in Florida have confirmed more than 23,000 Covid-19 cases in the state and at least 633 deaths, as of 16 April.

On Thursday, the White House announced the president’s three-phase “Opening Up America Again” plans for states to begin lifting stay-at-home measures and restrictions on nonessential businesses.

The president appeared to declare victory over the “invisible enemy” as the US death toll reached more than 31,000, with more than 6410,000 confirmed cases of the disease.

Critics say the administration’s plan is too inconsistent to be effective, potentially enabling new spikes of infections.

Mr Trump had claimed some states that already met some criteria for re-opening could begin easing restrictions “literally tomorrow” but declined to name parts of the country that were prepared to do so.

Last month, officials in Florida faced backlash for keeping beaches open during peak spring break activity, with thousands of visitors flocking to seaside towns and beaches.

Governor Ron DeSantis refused to issue statewide closures, leaving those decisions up to local governments and limiting gatherings to no more than 10 people, while footage of young people ignoring “social distancing” measures and dismissing concerns about spreading the virus went viral.

Though several counties did close beaches and parks before a statewide order, the governor ultimately mandated closures in late March.

In a statement last month, Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection said the agency’s limited capacity and operating hours “has not resulted in the reductions needed to best protect public health and safety as Florida continues to mitigate the spread” of the virus.

The governor said his administration was working for a plan to begin reopening parts of its economy and will announce a proposal “very soon” following the president’s latest guidelines.

Source link

Share with your friends!

Products You May Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the latest news
straight to your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.