Beaches in Florida will start reopening THIS EVENING ‘with restrictions’ despite rising death and infection rates in the state – after Trump said it was up to governors to decide when to come out of lockdown
- Jacksonville beaches are set to reopen from 5pm for ‘essential activities only’
- Socially distanced activities such as walking and biking will be permitted
- Locals are warned they will be ‘swimming and surfing’ at their own risk
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
Beaches in Jacksonville, Florida will start reopening under a restricted schedule this evening following President Trump’s announcement that states must decide themselves when to reopen.
Beaches and parks in Jacksonville are set to reopen at 5pm on Friday evening ‘with restrictions for essential activities only.’
‘This can be the beginning of the pathway back to normal life,’ Mayor Lenny Curry said on Thursday evening. ‘Please respect and follow these limitations. Stay within the guidelines for your safety as well as for the safety of your neighbors.’
Death and infection rates in Florida continued to rise on Thursday, with figures showing there are now more than 23,300 cases of coronavirus in Florida, with 668 deaths.
Jacksonville Beach pictured on March 20. Beaches and parks in Jacksonville are set to reopen at 5pm on Friday evening ‘with restrictions for essential activities only’
It comes as the president declared the nation is in the ‘process’ of winning the war against the coronavirus, and announced the new phased return toward normalcy last night, even as deaths and infections in the nation continued to rise.
Activities that will be permitted on the beaches include recreational activities consistent with social distancing guidelines such as walking, biking, hiking, fishing, running, swimming, taking care of pets and surfing.
Going forward, the beaches will be open from 6am to 11am every morning and 5pm to 8pm every evening.
‘Please be advised that you are swimming and surfing at your own risk,’ a press release revealing the change warned.
The reopening of the beaches in Jackson were deemed as premature by some.
‘This is really a crazy bad idea,’ Jacksonville resident Deborah Melvin told ABC News.
‘I’m afraid. I’m afraid for myself. I’m afraid for my family. Everybody should use their common sense.’
Jacksonville Beach pictured on March 15. Going forward, the beaches will be open from 6am to 11am every morning and 5pm to 8pm every evening
Trump last night further backed away from his claim of having ‘total’ authority on when to reopen the country – and told Americans he would ‘allow’ governors to reopen at their discretion.
But his administration’s three-phase guidelines provided only a general idea of how and when states would be able to graduate to a point where their citizens could congregate, work, get educated, and dine in public.
‘To preserve the health of our citizens we must also preserve the health and functioning of our economy,’ Trump said at the White House.
He said states would make decisions on when to reopen – a turnaround from what he said on Monday, when his bold pronouncements brought a rebuke from New York Gov. Andrew Como, who said the president is not a king.
Trump teased the possibility of some states reopening within days, but didn’t specify which ones. He has said repeatedly that large western states without dense populations should not be subjected to nationwide lock-downs.