Beaches open, large crowds expected this weekend

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

Beaches open, large crowds expected this weekend:

South Pointe Pier to reopen on Monday

Come on in, the water’s fine… and so is the sand. Miami Beach is once again welcoming beachgoers following three months of COVID-19 closures. City Manager Jimmy Morales told Commissioners on Friday, “While it hasn’t been perfect, it’s been pretty good,” noting “no major incidents” since the reopening on Wednesday. 

The beaches were originally scheduled to open on June 1 but Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez kept them closed while police resources were diverted to protests over the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police officers. The County is providing staffing to ensure beachgoers follow social distancing rules, have masks when entering the beach, and don’t bring prohibited items including tents.

With larger crowds expected over the weekend, both the City and County will beef up staffing, Morales said, with the City adding 30 ambassadors and the County 55. “So, another 85 on top of the 150 or so we had during the week.”

Morales said he anticipated visitors “will be coming from all over South Florida.” An iffy weather forecast could be a plus in keeping the numbers down, he added. Regardless, “We’ll be ready for it.”

Another big reopening: South Pointe Pier which will be accessible again on Monday.

While statewide COVID-19 numbers have gone up, Morales said Miami-Dade County has been flat. “We have not seen that spike locally.” He noted a “spike in positive tests” but not in hospitalizations or patients on ventilators.

In another week any increases in the number of cases due to the reopening of retail, restaurants, beaches and hotels, along with the impact of crowds gathering at protests, will be evident, he said.

The City is now “fully opened” with the exception of nightclubs and large venues, he added. “What’s left is the big stuff, big concert halls, big outdoor events… that’s probably several weeks away, at least,” Morales told Commissioners.

Gimenez had previously indicated his willingness to allow some larger venues to reopen with County-approved plans. Morales said he is aware that the New World Symphony and the Fillmore have each submitted plans for review. City Commissioners previously directed that plans also receive City approval.

Other openings of note:

Open now: Soccer cage at Flamingo Park, 82nd Street Skate Park, Racquetball courts, 35 Street/Pancoast Park

Opening June 15: South Pointe Park Pier, Maurice Gibb Park Pier

“The Rules” for the Beach: Open between 7 am and 8 pm only
  • Facial coverings must always be readily available and are required for use in bathrooms, at concessions or when social distancing cannot be achieved (except for members of the same household)
  • Social distancing will be enforced and groups of 10 or more are prohibited 
  • No use of exercise equipment or playgrounds; no shared equipment, organized activities, sports or classes; no special events or group picnics
  • No fishing, pets on the beach, floats, tents/canopies. One change: Coolers are now permitted.
  • Visit www.miamibeachfl.gov/reopening/beaches/ for additional details 
 
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Earlier this week, County Mayor Gimenez lifted the County curfew implemented during the heaviest protests and Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber also lifted the City’s curfew implemented during the COVID-19 closures.
 

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Susan Askew
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