Even though those across the country continue to implement social distancing measures during the coronavirus crisis, some parts of the country aren't exactly keeping those efforts in mind. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently gave the green light for some beaches in the state to reopen amidst this pandemic. While they reopened these beaches with some specific rules in place, that didn't stop individuals from heading to the beach and, subsequently, crowding the scenes as a result.
On Friday, DeSantis gave the green light for some beaches in Northern Florida to open, despite the fact that the coronavirus pandemic is not under control in the United States just yet. Unsurprisingly, shortly after Jacksonville Beach reopened, it became packed. One Twitter user even posted a photo of the scene at Jacksonville Beach which was taken a half-hour after it opened, and it appeared to show a plethora of people at the location. As PEOPLE noted, Jacksonville became the first city in the state to reopen its beaches when it did so on Friday. This news comes during a time when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has urged individuals to keep a safe 6-foot distance between yourself and others.
Jacksonville Beach reopened 26 minutes ago. This is a live picture. pic.twitter.com/tC6voQ3BAn— Travis Akers (@travisakers) April 17, 2020
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry announced on Thursday that beaches in the city would reopen. Although, he did add that there would be caveats to go along with this news. In the announcement, which was posted on the city's official Twitter account, he expressed that beaches would only be open for certain hours in the day, would be limited to "essential activities," and will require everyone in the area to maintain social distancing protocols. It was also announced that these rules would apply to parks in the city, as well. But, specific amenities, such as "pavilions and picnic areas" will still remain closed for the time being.
"This can be the beginning of the pathway back to normal life," the mayor wrote. "Please respect and follow these limitations. Stay within the guidelines for your safety, as well as for the safety of your neighbors." Beaches in Florida were initially closed as of March 20. At the time, beaches closed after several photos went viral of tourists, many of whom were on Spring Break, crowding the beaches in the state.