PINELLAS CO., Fla (WFLA) – All beaches are closed in Pinellas County after a Safer at Home order went into effect last week, but police say they are still seeing people going out and spending the day by the water.
If you drive around Treasure Island and try to get onto any of the beaches the public access entrances to beaches are blocked with these barriers, but many people are still ignoring the signs.
Florida has come a long way from the first images of packed beaches after the President declared a national emergency due to the coronavirus.
Pinellas County currently has a Safer at Home Order in place. That means beaches are closed, but despite plenty of signage and blockades on Treasure Island people are ignoring the order. This has the police chief frustrated as he works to spread the word that closed beach means zero people should be on the sand.
He understands it’s hard to stay home, but reminds people the sooner this is over the sooner they can open up the beaches.
“Unfortunately we’re going to have to take a stronger stance down the road. We’re hoping everyone polices themselves. As we said yesterday, everyone is a first responder. Police yourselves and stay off the beach until it’s safe to do so and then we’ll welcome everyone back with open arms,” said Chief John Barkley with the Treasure Island Police.
According to the Pinellas Safer at Home Order spending time outside and exercising is ok as long as people follow CDC guidelines and practice social distancing. All Pinellas County beaches and parking areas are closed until April 6th.