The City of Miami Beach Declares State of Emergency With a Curfew Due to Spring Break Crowds
A State of Emergency has been declared in Miami, closing streets and enforcing a city-wide curfew in an attempt to control the large spring break crowds. On Saturday, Miami Beach Interim City Manager Raul J. Aguila declared a state of emergency throughout the city. The order is to safeguard residents’ and visitors’ health and safety due to the large crowds of people visiting the area. The emergency measures implement an 8 p.m. curfew in the South Beach entertainment district area. It also entails closures of major roadways. The city plans to keep the order through April 12 if needed. The order came after partying crowds trashed restaurants, gathered without masks, and even broke into fights.
JUST IN: The City of Miami Beach has declared a State of Emergency and a curfew, Mayor Dan Gelber said during a press conference Saturday.— Ana Cabrera (@AnaCabrera) March 20, 2021
An 8 p.m. curfew will be in put in place for the entertainment district of the city and some roads will be closed, according to Gelber.
Florida was one of the few states in the country that never enforced a statewide mask mandate. The state also had some of the loosest restrictions due to COVID-19. However, local governments were able to require masks and restrict the sizes of gatherings. Dade County, which includes Miami Beach, was one of the nation’s biggest hotspots for COVID-19 outbreaks and continues to be so. Finally, a year after coronavirus restrictions, Miami has joined in as other cities in Flordia have lifted mandates slowly as they work to open their doors back up to tourists. However, Miami is struggling to control the large spring break crowds as they are causing unexpected trouble.
More than 1,000 people have been arrested in Miami Beach since February 3. 350 of the arrests have been felony arrests. The strip in Miami Beach has always been a place that draws in celebrities and large groups of tourists. The town is used to dealing with large crowds, even during the pandemic. Though, things got out of hand on Friday, March 19, when thousands of people gathered on Ocean Drive. There was no particular event planned that attracted the large group, and the group was not there to support local restaurants or shopping areas. Instead, they were rioting and shooting firearms into the crowd. Police used pepper balls to disperse the crowd.
The city wants to be an attractive place for tourists to come. Though it is still a city, like every other city in the nation, fighting the spread of COVID-19. In an interview with CNN, Dan Gelber, mayor of the Miami Beach area, expressed a message to tourists planning to visit Miami Beach in the coming weeks. He states that if you are traveling there to let loose and you think anything goes, you should not go. He emphasizes that Miami Beach is not the place to go and they plan to have extra police forces, sharing that you will be arrested.