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All Seminole County boat ramps to reopen this week

Ramps were previously closed due to large crowds

Lake Jesup.
Lake Jesup. (News 6)

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Starting Thursday, all Seminole County boat ramps will reopen but there will be some extra rules in place to ensure that anyone on the water obeys by social distancing guidelines.

Earlier this month, officials from the county were forced to shut down all the ramps after large groups of boaters gathered one Saturday afternoon, clearly violating mandates in place to stop the spread of coronavirus.

A tweet called the boaters “irresponsible” and included a picture of about 20 people gathered on an unspecified river.

Then last week, county officials announced that the ramps at Wayside Park and Lake Jesup Park would reopen in order to give residents who’ve mostly been required to stay at home an outdoor outlet. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office are enforcing social distancing rules currently in place.

Boats must stay 50 feet away from each other and there can be no more than 10 people per each vessel, according to FWC’s executive order.

Anyone who doesn’t abide by the mandate will be fined.

According to an FWC public information officer, it will be up to the entity that owns and manages each boat ramp to decide when they will open. No FWC-managed ramps have been closed.

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