MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - After being closed for 12 weeks, the sandy shores of Miami-Dade County have finally reopened.

Beaches were allowed to reopen on Wednesday with strict rules given by Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

“We want everyone to come out, enjoy themselves but do so responsibly by following these rules that we have in place,” Miami Beach Police spokesperson Ernesto Rodriguez said.

Locals and visitors were on the beach to soak up some sun.

“Oh, my goodness,” said Memphis native Velver Lee. “I was just telling her, I feel like running. These beautiful white sands and the ocean, it’s refreshing.”

“My dream was to be able to come out to some white sand, the beautiful beach, sun shining for my birthday,” said one visitor. “My dream came true, so I’m super excited.”

7News spoke with residents who were some of the first to arrive at Miami Beach.

Barbara Haley, along with her two sons, got the opportunity to watch the sunrise from the beach for the first time in a long time.

“We would come at least once a week to the beach, mostly to see the sunrise,” said Haley, “so this is a big moment that they’re finally opening the beach.”

Other beachgoers shared their excitement.

“I’m more than excited,” said one beachgoer. “I’m ecstatic. I’m really happy, ’cause being in the water really brings health, and, you know, just makes me feel overall well.”

“It feels amazing to be back down here,” Christopher Johnson said. “I love being on the water.”

Beaches were initially set to reopen on June 1, but Gimenez delayed it after imposing a countywide curfew following protests against police brutality.

“We completely understand why it wasn’t [open], but we’re just happy to embrace a new normal,” said Haley.

“It feels surreal, to be honest,” Axel Campailla said. “They kept, like, postponing and postponing, and finally, we got it to happen, so I’m really happy.”

7News cameras captured one of the last gates being reopened near Ocean Drive and Fifth Street.

Beach ambassadors are also at the gates to remind visitors of the rules put in place.

“I must inform you that you must have your mask ready and available at all times,” said one ambassador.

7SkyForceHD hovered over the beach where visitors could be seen on chairs and under umbrellas all while practicing social distancing.

A school of sharks could also be seen from aerial footage near the shore near Eighth Street.

The beach opened at 7 a.m. and closed at 8 p.m.

7News cameras captured police vehicles coasting down the shoreline as the last beachgoers left for the day.

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