Volusia County beaches to remain open amid coronavirus but with social distancing enforcement

Volusia County beaches emergency order to take effect

Volusia County beaches to remain open, enforce new regulations amid coronavirus concerns

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Volusia County officials say beaches will remain open amid the coronavirus outbreak but social distancing will be enforced.

Authorities advised beachgoers Tuesday to keep gatherings to 10 people or less and that groups should remain 6 feet apart at all times.

[County officials will provide an update on the local response at 6 p.m. Watch live at the top of this story.]

Lifeguards will use a loudspeaker if they witness any large gatherings. Those who disobey warnings could be subjected to a second-degree misdemeanor charge, according to county leaders.

Tollbooth workers will also be equipped with hand sanitizers and gloves in the wake of the virus.

[RELATED: Florida governor orders all nightclubs, bars to close for 30 days due to coronavirus]

County leaders plan to attempt this protocol for about a week before potentially closing all access to beaches.

Volusia County officials announced these new regulations after Gov. Ron DeSantis addressed Floridians from the state capital, closing all bars and nightclubs for the next 30 days.

The Volusia County Council agreed to keep the beaches open but have some rules for people to follow that took effect Tuesday at 5 p.m.

“We need a mental health break as well as a physical health break and we have that right here in Volusia County. We have a beautiful asset called the beach,” said Deb Denys, Councilwoman for District 3.

Volusia County will also remove permits for restaurants and small businesses to allow them to make adjustments and stay open.

“Any hindrances to keep economic development for our small businesses, so if we’re really concerned about the employees and the payroll here in Volusia County, let’s keep these businesses open,” Denys said.

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