TheHill reports hundreds of people swarmed Florida’s beaches Saturday, just one day after Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced they would be allowed to open at local leaders’ discretion.
Images of people swarming beaches in the Jacksonville area went viral on Twitter Saturday, prompting backlash from users on the platform using the hashtag “#FloridaMorons.”
— Garrett Bedenbaugh (@wxgarrett) April 17, 2020
DeSantis on Friday allowed cities with beach fronts to begin opening their beaches at their own discretion. The same day, Jacksonville, Fla., Mayor Lenny Curry (R) announced that Duval County’s beaches would reopen.
However, the easing of restrictions still banned people from bringing towels and chairs — as to prevent large congregations — and limited the hours. People are encouraged to go on walks or swim and remain six feet or farther apart from one another to maintain social distancing guidelines.
“This can be the beginning of the pathway back to normal life,” Curry said. “Please respect and follow these limitations. Stay within the guidelines for your safety as well as for the safety of your neighbors.”
Despite images of populated beaches shared online Saturday, Curry tweeted an image of a clear beach in his city, thanking residents for “social distancing and responsible behavior.”
Thank you Jacksonville. I appreciate your social distancing and responsible behavior as we opened our beaches for walking, swimming, running etc. No groups congregating. 5 pm to 8pm opening tonight. This is the 7pm shot from Councilman Diamond from the beach. Well done Jax https://t.co/VPVrhG40zC
— Lenny Curry (@lennycurry) April 18, 2020