JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – Visitors returned to the sands of Jacksonville Beach on Saturday, a day after the beaches reopened on a limited basis with restricted hours.
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said on Thursday he was reasonably confident the curve is flattening, announcing the beaches will be open at certain times for essential activities.
As defined in Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Executive Order, essential activities include the following:
- Participating in recreational activities consistent with social distancing guidelines
- Such as walking, biking, hiking, fishing, running, swimming, taking care of pets and surfing
The beaches, which include Jacksonville, Neptune and Atlantic, are open from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. each morning and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. each evening. They will remain closed during all other time periods, and people swimming and surfing at the beach are doing so at their own risk.
The beach camera showed a large number of people on the beach around 10 a.m. Saturday. Most appeared to be moving and not lying down on a towel or sitting in a chair.
When the beach closed at 11 a.m., the beach was empty, except for a few patrol vehicles. Check out this before and after photo from 11 a.m. and 11:06 a.m.:
Jacksonville Beach Police Sgt. Jason Sharp said he wants people to do the right thing and follow the rules. It’s the “one percenters” who he said might cause issues.
Police, lifeguards and Jacksonville Fire-Rescue personnel are patrolling the waterfront to ensure people are maintaining six feet of social distancing and that there are no groups of more than 10.
The beaches are being patrolled, enforcing the rules during the hours the beaches are open and keeping people off the sand when the beaches are closed.