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Flagler County lifts all beach restrictions except social distancing guidelines

Safe sanitation practices strongly recommended

Flagler County beaches reopen on limited basis
Flagler County beaches reopen on limited basis

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – As of Wednesday morning, Flagler County officials lifted all beach use limitations, except the practice of social distancing. Officials also said continuing to follow safe sanitation practices is strongly recommended.

Flagler County was the first to announce beach access restrictions of Central Florida’s three coastal counties amid the coronavirus outbreak. County beaches, piers and parks have been closed since March 23.

Last week, the county reopened beaches for fishing and exercising, but socializing on the shore was still off limits.

According to a news release, county officials made the decisions to lift restrictions based on the compliance of rules seen over the past week.

“The goal remains to allow residents physical and mental health activities,” said Emergency Management Director Jonathan Lord. “We recognize that a mental health activity can include sitting on the beach, as long as everyone is respectful of social distancing. Congregating in groups is not allowed.”

[MORE: New website shows which Flagler County businesses are open | Flagler County COVID-19 testing site expanding services to residents after low turnout ]

While all 18 miles of beach are open, county officials said there are additional restrictions within the city of Flagler Beach that will remain in place for the time being.

Handicapped-friendly parking and beach access will be available just north of the pier, at South 2nd Street and State Road A1A, according to a news release.

Access to the beach is available at dune walkovers from 3rd Street North to the north city limits and from 9th Street South to the south city limits. The dune walkovers on the Boardwalk will remain closed, officials said.

Fishing on the beach and the walking of pets will only be permitted north of 10th Street North and south of 10th Street South, according to the news release.

“Compliance is the key. Thank you to our community for abiding by the guidelines that have been put in place over the last few weeks,” said Flagler Beach Police Chief Matt Doughney. “We expect compliance to continue as we move forward. We’ve got six miles of beaches in our city, so please spread out, stay separated and stay safe.”

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