BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – In yet another attempt to keep visitors off the shores, Brevard County officials announced that all beachside public parking will be closed beginning on Thursday.
The move comes after Gov. Ron DeSantis said that while beaches can remain open across the state, people cannot gather in groups of more than 10 people and each group needs to be at least six feet apart.
The requirements were laid out by the governor in hopes of stopping the spread of the coronavirus.
“I direct parties accessing public beaches in the state of Florida to follow the CDC guidance by limiting their gathering to no more than 10 persons, distance themselves from other parties by 6 feet, and support beach closures at the discretion of local authorities," DeSantis said.
Bars and nightclubs have also been temporarily shuttered and restaurants across the state have been ordered to operate at half capacity.
The closures include access points, parking garages, parking areas and Patrick Air Force Base beachside public parking. No timeline has been given for when they will reopen.
The closures begin Thursday with the plan being to have all the locations completely shut down to the public by Friday morning.
On Wednesday, police in Satellite Beach said their officers have begun patrolling the shorelines to break up large groups and enforce social distancing.
“At this time, the Satellite Beach Police Department will be patrolling beaches in Satellite Beach to enforce the party size and distance measures being taken statewide to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Police Chief Jeff M. Pearson said in a statement on Facebook. “Please abide by the executive order and adhere to the required standards of limiting gatherings to no more than 10 people and maintaining 6 feet between parties at the beach.”
In addition to social distancing, officials are asking every American to stay home if they are sick, practice good hygiene and limit travel.