MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Spring breakers spotted without face masks at two popular South Florida destinations have raised concerns that the gatherings could lead to an increase in coronavirus cases.
This weekend brought more large crowds to Fort Lauderdale Beach. 7News cameras captured many revelers not wearing masks or following COVID protocols.
More maskless beachgoers were also spotted Sunday in Miami Beach.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said the spring break crowds, the COVID-19 variants and lifted statewide restrictions make the situation difficult.
“We’re very concerned,” said Gelber. “I would love to have the governor’s voice urging people to be responsible, but we really don’t have that right now.”
City leaders are hoping to keep things calm by closing beaches at 7 p.m. and ordering businesses along the beach to shut down by midnight.
It was a less crowded scene along Miami Beach on Monday morning, as strong winds and cooler weather moved through the area.
“It doesn’t feel overcrowded, doesn’t feel overwhelmed or anything to us,” said visitor Aimee Pratt.
“As the night goes on, a lot more people come out and, I think, get a little more lax with their adherence to the guidelines,” said visitor Chris Frohne.
Gelber said he is concerned South Florida will see the consequences of what is happening now, later on.
“All I know is once we pulled back everything and said, ‘We’re not even going to tell people they have to wear masks,’ we’ve had an enormous surge of deaths and hospitalizations,” he said.
Anyone with questions and concerns about the coronavirus can call the Florida Department of Health’s 24-hour hotline at 1-866-779-6121.
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