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Coronavirus: Which Florida beaches are open? Which activities can and can't you do there?

RNCollins

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Coronavirus: Which Florida beaches are open? Which activities can and can't you do there?

By Jennifer Sangalang / Florida Today / www.floridatoday.com / April 25, 2020

“Life's a beach, right? Well, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, not so much.

In spite of Gov. Ron DeSantis' "safer at home" order, which encourages Floridians to stay at home through April 30, some beaches in the Sunshine State remain open....

...The following Florida beaches are open during the COVID-19 pandemic, although some have restrictions. And attendance at the beach is a far cry from what it'd normally be this time of year. For that matter, we're also sharing tips of what you can and can't do if you go to the beach during the coronavirus pandemic....”


Jetty Park at Port Canaveral
According to a notice on its website, Port Canaveral officials "have suspended the use of our indoor and outdoor venues at Port Canaveral for events and gatherings scheduled to take place in any of our facilities through June 1, 2020." Jetty Park, a popular spot for fishing, biking or watching a rocket launch, is closed until further notice, the site states.

Cocoa Beach
The Brevard beach on Florida's East Coast that's minutes from Port Canaveral and home to the Cocoa Beach Pier is open.

What you CAN do, so long as you practice social distancing and are not in a group of more than five people:
  • Walk or jog
  • Sunbathe
  • Sit in beach chairs
  • Recreational activities
What you CAN'T do:
  • Park your the car in beach parking, beach access parking or in the downtown parking garage. Prepare to walk since these parking areas remain closed.
  • Bring alcoholic beverages. Cocoa Beach's ban on beach alcohol remains in effect.
  • public parking areas
Indialantic and Melbourne Beach
These small-town beaches near Sebastian Inlet on Florida's East Coast are open with limited recreation and restrictions. Beachgoers must be residents, practice social distancing and limit groups to fewer than five.

What you CAN do:
  • Walk orr un
  • Swim
  • Surf
  • Bike
  • Fish
What you CAN'T do:
  • Sunbathe
  • Park as beach access parking remains closed
  • Congregate on the beach or boardwalks in groups
Indian Harbour Beach
Indian Harbour Beach, between Satellite Beach and Indialantic, remains open with restrictions.

What you CAN do, so long as you practice social distancing and refrain from groups larger than five:
  • Walk or jog
  • Bike
  • Fish
  • Surf
  • Swim
What you CAN’T do:
  • Park; those areas will remain closed
  • Crowd at the beach crossover locations
  • Park bicycles on the beach walkways and boardwalk as they block access for others, according to a Facebook post from the city of Indian Harbour Beach.
Jacksonville
Northeast Florida beaches in Jacksonville — Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach and Atlantic Beach in Duval County — are open for restricted hours. Beachgoers can visit between 6 and 11 a.m. and 5 and 8 p.m. daily.

What you CAN do, so long as you practice social distancing and hang out in groups fewer than five:
  • Bring your dog; they are allowed on the beach (during its open hours) as long as they're leashed
  • Walk or run
  • Fish
  • Bike
  • Swim
  • Surf
  • Out-of-town visitors can park in a lot on the west side of First Street.
What you CAN'T do:
  • Bring beach chairs, blankets, grills and coolers.
  • Congregate in large groups or engaging in team sports or group activities

Sarasota County
On Monday, April 27, the 35 miles of beach in Sarasota County — which includes Siesta Beach, Venice Beach, Turtle Beach in Southwest Florida — will reopen, with restrictions. Lido Beach, however, will remain closed.

What you CAN do:
  • Bike
  • Run or walk
  • Swim
  • Surf
What you CAN'T do:

Look for sea turtle nests. Although the first sea turtle nest was discovered earlier this week on Siesta Key, beach closures have significantly changed nest monitoring, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Only volunteers, biologists and interns assisting Mote’s Sea Turtle Conservation & Research Program will be allowed beach access for nest monitoring. However, the team of 300 volunteers — to monitor 35 miles of beach from Longboat Key to Venice — will have to practice social distancing.

• No group activities like beach yoga and drum circles.

• No parking as beach parking lots remain closed.

So beautiful: Best beaches in Sarasota, Venice and Bradenton area

Bay County
Bay County beaches on the Gulf Coast in Northwest Florida — Panama City Beach — offer restricted access and partially reopened Friday, April 24. Beachgoers should practice social distancing and refrain from hanging out in groups of more than five people. Hours are between 6 and 9 a.m. and 5 and 8 p.m. daily.

What you CAN do:
  • Recreational activities
  • Fish
  • Walk or jog
What you CAN'T do:
  • Set up tents
  • Congregate in large groups
  • Commercial activities
Charlotte County
Charlotte County officials announced this week that it would reopen Englewood and Port Charlotte beaches in Punta Gorda without restrictions on Monday, April 27.

What you CAN do:
  • Do normal fun beach activities. There are no restrictions as long as beachgoers practice social distancing.
  • Parking will be open
What you CAN'T do:
  • Use public restrooms, which are closed
  • Congregate in groups larger than nine people
Dixie County
Reports in Orlando Weekly and WTSP.com state beaches in Dixie County in Northwest Florida are open.

Flagler County
Beaches in Flagler County — including Flagler Beach and Beverly Beach, a 6-mile stretch on Florida’s East Coast — reopened for limited recreation.

What you CAN do, so long as you practice social distancing and hang out in groups fewer than five:
  • Visit the beach between 7 and 10 a.m. or 6 and 8 p.m. daily
  • Visit the unincorporated areas of Beverly Beach and Marineland between 6 and 8 p.m. daily.
  • Walk or run
  • Fish
What you CAN'T do:
  • Congregate in large groups
Gulf County
Mexico Beach, about 25 miles southeast of Panama City in Northwest Florida, reopened with restricted access and intended for residents. Beachgoers can visit between 6 and 9 a.m. and 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. daily. Beaches in Gulf County will open at 5 p.m. Monday, April 27, with hours from 6 to 9 a.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. daily. Equipment for fishing and active sports is permitted. Parking at beach access points is not prohibited.

What you CAN do, so long as you practice social distancing and hang out in groups fewer than five:
  • Recreational activities
  • Swim
  • Run or walk
  • Fish
  • Bike
  • Hunt
  • Hike
What you CAN'T do:

• Lounge. Umbrellas, chairs, tents and beach towels on the ground are not allowed.

Facebook group: Coronavirus questions, answers and info in Naples

Indian River County
Indian River County plans to open its guarded beaches Tuesday, April 28, with social-distancing restrictions. According to a story on TCPalm, that includes these beaches: Goldens Sands, Wabasso Beach, Tracking Station Beach, Round Island Beach, the east end of Beachcomber Lane, Vero Beach and Indian River Shores.

Indian River County expects to open its beaches 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., according to a draft order obtained by TCPalm. But county officials said Friday beaches would be open normal hours, sunrise to sunset.

What you CAN do:
  • Walk
  • Swim
  • Paddleboard
  • Kayak
What you CAN’T do:
  • Sunbathe
  • Picnic
  • Group sports
  • Sit on the beach
  • Bring blankets, chairs, coolers, beach umbrellas, tents or “any item that promotes or is intended for use in a stationary mode.”
Facebook: Coronavirus questions, answers and info in Treasure Coast

Levy County

Levy County beaches in north-central Florida are open with restrictions. The city of Cedar Key has restricted access to the island to residents and property owners, according to the city of Levy's disaster site, levydisaster.com.

Monroe County
Beaches in Monroe County are open, but the Florida Keys are off-limits to anyone who doesn’t live there.

A notice on the county's emergency management site states: "The Keys are closed to visitors. Monroe County does not anticipate opening to visitors during the month of May. All those entering the Keys should carry backup identification or documents proving homeownership or residency."

Okaloosa County
Okaloosa County beaches in Florida's Panhandle offer restricted access and reopened Thursday. Beachgoers should practice social distancing and refrain from hanging out in groups of more than five people. Hours are between 6 and 9 a.m. and 5 and 8 p.m. daily.

Starting May 1, beaches within Okaloosa County’s jurisdiction will be open to the publicfrom 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily, with all beach activities permitted.

What you CAN do:
  • Recreational activities
What you CAN'T do:
  • Congregate in large groups
St. Johns County
St. Johns County beaches are open from 6 a.m. to noon daily.

What you CAN do, so long as you practice social distancing and refrain from hanging out in groups of more than five people:
  • Walk or run
  • Surf
  • Bike
  • Fish
  • Swim
What you CAN'T do:
  • Group sports
  • Sunbathe
  • Activities that involve large groups or staying in one place
Volusia County
Volusia County beaches on the East Coast of Florida will open Saturday, April 25, with some restrictions. The process starts with opening up handicapped access to the beach for residents with disabilities. A handicapped sticker or placard will be required, and the vehicles will need to stay within 100 yards of these ramps: Third Avenue in New Smyrna Beach, Dunlawton Boulevard in Daytona Beach Shores, and Williams Avenue in Daytona Beach.

What you CAN'T do:
  • Lounge
  • Sunbathe
  • Bring coolers
  • Park in off beach parking lots and parks. They will remain closed throughout the weekend.

These beaches are closed, for now
Broward County

Charlotte County

Citrus County

Collier County

Escambia County

Franklin County

Hernando County

Hillsborough County

Lee County

Manatee County beaches remain closed, but commissioners may discuss it Tuesday, April 28.

Martin County

Miami-Dade County

Nassau County

Okaloosa County: Starting May 1, beaches within Okaloosa County’s jurisdiction will be open to the public from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily, with all beach activities permitted.

Palm Beach County

Pasco County

Pinellas County

St. Lucie County: The county may open its beaches at 7 a.m. Tuesday, according to TCPalm.

Santa Rosa County

Taylor County

Wakulla County

Walton County
 

IslandTime

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They did say public beach parking is closed in Brevard County but what isn't reported in the info above is that many cars are being ticketed or towed for illegal parking. I don't know why people would think it's OK to park at local businesses so they can spend the day at the beach but I guess some found out otherwise.
 

R.J.C.

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Flagler County just announced that all beaches are open with no restrictions as of today as long as social distancing is maintained.
 

Glenn2

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Pinellas County beaches and the public parking lots are set to re-open this coming Monday. Social distancing is still required and there can be no groups of people larger than 10. The county sheriff supports this and says the spring break students are gone now.
 

mbh

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Collier and Lee Counties are open as of tomorrow. Social distancing rules and no concessions, but bathrooms and showers are open.
 

Sea Six

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The sad part about posting things like this is that by the time you clink enter, your stats are wrong.
 

theo

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The sad part about posting things like this is that by the time you clink enter, your stats are wrong.

What is considerably more sad, at least in my personal opinion, is some very stupid decisions being made at the state level solely on the basis of impatience with being "inconvenienced" --- instead of decisions being based upon scientific facts and evidence. :(

Albert Einstein was absolutely right when he astutely observed that human stupidity is infinite.
 
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MrockStar

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What is considerably sadder, at least in my personal opinion, is very stupid decisions being made solely on the basis of impatience with being "inconvenienced" --- instead of those decisions being based on scientific fact. :(

Albert Einstein was absolutely right when he astutely observed that human stupidity is essentially infinite.
And yet in spite of it, here we still are thousands of years later
 

Sea Six

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I guess we will open with baby steps - one at a time. As long as we make some progress. If things get worse, we'll back off a bit.
 

Sea Six

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Well, at this point Collier County beaches are completely open to all activity. Until the next update.
 

Maple_Leaf

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Are photographers using telephoto lenses to create Fake News about overcrowded beaches?
 

Sea Six

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Naples Beach by the fishing pier has been closed again. People too crowded together, illegal parking, trash all over. Most other beaches in Collier Cty are still open, for now. Things won't be good around here until Broward and Dade beaches are open. Can't have all these 305s over here.
 
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