Flagler County expands reopening of beaches, loosens restrictions

Social distancing still required; Some additional limitations in place for city of Flagler Beach

Flagler County beaches reopen for exercise

For the most part, beach visitors in Flagler County have been following the rules.

And that has earned them extra privileges, so to speak.

Effective immediately, Flagler County is lifting limitations at beaches and allowing activities that include sitting down -- but social distancing guidelines are still in effect.

“The goal remains to allow residents physical and mental health activities,” said Jonathan Lord, Emergency Management Director. “We recognize that a mental health activity can include sitting on the beach, as long as everyone is respectful of social distancing. Congregating in groups is not allowed.”

Flagler County also asks beach goers to follow safe sanitation practices.

While all 18 miles of beach are open, there are additional restrictions within the city of Flagler Beach for the time being.

Handicapped parking and beach access will be available just north of the Pier, at South 2nd Street and SRA1A.

Access to the beach is available at dune walkovers at the following locations: from 3rd Street North to the north city limits and from 9th Street South to the south city limits. The dune walkovers on the Boardwalk will remain closed.

“The adherence to utilizing only open Dune Walkovers is greatly appreciated, as our sea dunes are extremely fragile,” the county said.

Fishing on the beach and the walking of pets will only be permitted north of 10th Street North and south of 10th Street South.

“Compliance is the key. Thank you to our community for abiding by the guidelines that have been put in place over the last few weeks,” said Flagler Beach Police Chief Matt Doughney. “We expect compliance to continue as we move forward. We’ve got 6 miles of beaches in our city, so please spread out, stay separated and stay safe.”

Beaches in Flagler Beach will be monitored by law enforcement and city staff to make sure people continue to follow the rules.

“Please spread out and use our city beaches to exercise and relax. We’re just asking that you do so under social distancing guidelines as set by our public health authorities,” Flagler Beach City Manager Larry Newsom said.

As lifeguards may not be on duty, all swimming is done at your own risk.

All residents and businesses are reminded to abide by Executive and Emergency Orders, and follow Florida Department of Health and CDC guidance, to include:

  • Staying home except when engaged in essential services or activities
  • Wearing cloth face coverings when out in public – more information about why to wear one and where to get one is available at on the COVID-19 page.
  • Practicing aggressive social distancing at all times – people should keep a minimum of 6 feet of space between one another, and keep groups to less than 10, which includes while shopping and waiting in the check-out line
  • Frequent hand washing for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based (at least 60% alcohol) hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are, or may be, sick

Additionally, those who are sick and/or told to self-isolate are to: remain at home unless seeking medical care, cover coughs and sneezes, wear a facemask around others, and disinfect touched surfaces daily.

COVID-19 health related questions or concerns should be directed to your regular healthcare provider or the Florida Health hotline at 866-779-6121.

COVID-19 business concerns should be directed to the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation at 866-532-1440.

All other COVID-19 government services questions or concerns may be directed to a specific municipality or the Emergency Operations Center at 386-313-4200. Check for current information on Flagler County’s website www.flaglercounty.org, and follow “Flagler County Government” or “Flagler County Emergency Management” on Social Media. The county’s social media team will provide updates through these official accounts:

Flagler County Government

Flagler County Emergency Management

About the Author:

A Jacksonville native and proud University of North Florida alum, Francine Frazier has been with News4Jax since 2014 after spending nine years at The Florida Times-Union.