Coronavirus: Spring breakers defy police order, put hundreds of lives at risk while partying on South Beach
South Beach located in Miami, Florida is known for its beaches, restaurants, shopping, but is also famous for its spring break vacations. As the countries around the world are under lockdown due to the widespread coronavirus, the spring break has also been officially canceled in an effort to contain the crisis. However, this has not stopped the college students from going to South Beach and commemorate their sping break despite the warning signs.
Hundreds of college spring breakers defied the warnings from the authorities and police and were seen assembled for spring break, partying, playing games etc. A state of emergency was declared early this month to try and control the crowd to avoid the spike in coronavirus cases. The police is stationed on the closed main stretch of South Beach from Fifth Street to 15th Street. A violation fee of $500 in fine along with imprisonment for 60 days has also been decided.
“We cannot become a petri dish for a very dangerous virus,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said during a joint news conference at Miami Beach City Hall. “Spring break is over. The party is over."
Gelber added saying, “Miami Beach is a popular vacation spot for spring breakers. It would be irresponsible for us not to limit crowd sizes in these public areas. Not only for our residents and visitors but for the health and safety of our first responders. We cannot continue to put them at risk by asking them to expose themselves to the possibility of contracting this virus.”
“We have to do everything we can to minimize crowds and stop further cases of COVID-19,” said Mayor of Fort Lauderdale Dean Trantalis. “Unfortunately, our beautiful beaches must be part of that plan. I want to be clear that this is not an overreaction, but a way for us to help stop further cases of COVID-19 in our community. We must all do our part to save lives. This includes protecting our residents, visitors, and our first responders.”
Despite the drastic measures taken by the authorities, there was a sudden spike in Coronavirus cases in Florida that went from 149 to 155 in a day earlier this month. Addressing the students Mayor Gelber told Sun Sentinel, "You have a mother, you have a grandmother and maybe a great-grandmother. That virus can be extremely dangerous to them."