‘Frankly, it’s working’: Jacksonville mayor explains how city reopened beaches amid pandemic

Coronavirus

TAMPA (WFLA) — Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry is a member of Ron DeSantis’ Reopen Florida Task Force and spoke Wednesday morning on how his city reopened its beaches to the public amid the COVID-19 crisis.

On the conference call, Curry was called on to explain the process of reopening Jacksonville Beach and how the city has balanced recreation and safety.

“We opened our beaches last weekend with restrictions,” Curry said. “The restrictions are 6 a.m. to 11 a.m., then they close. Then they reopen from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.”

Curry said the city allows essential activities on the beach like walking, biking, hiking, swimming, surfing, walking pets, etc. The city doesn’t allow sun bathing, chairs, towels, blankets, coolers, grills.

Curry added that he doesn’t believe reopening beaches requires “dictator-style” arrest threats for people not minding the proper protocol.

“We have a law enforcement presence, which includes police and fire rescue, and they’re on carts, they’re blowing horns if people get too close together, they’re on speakers telling them to keep their distance,” Curry said. “And frankly, it’s working.”

Curry said because the public had a day notice before the beaches opened, a lot of people showed up at once.

“There were a number of still photos that made it look like we were overcrowded and there was no distance, which was not accurate,” Curry said. “When you open these things… work with your local media on still photos vs. actual footage of what’s happening.”

Listen to Curry’s full explanation in the video player above.

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