On Friday (April 17), crowds flocked to the beaches in Jacksonville, Florida, after the city's mayor announced they would reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic. The beaches will have limited hours, and people will only be allowed to jog, bike, fish, surf, or engage in other physical activities. Sunbathing and gatherings of more than ten people will still be prohibited.
"Folks, this could be the beginning of the pathway back to normal life, but please respect and follow these limitations," Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said. "We'll get back to life as we know it, but we must be patient."
Despite the restrictions, many people made their way out to the beaches towing coolers and laying out on their beach towels, enjoying a chance to spend some time out of their homes.
Officials said they are going to issue warnings to those who fail to practice social distancing guidelines. If people continue to ignore the rules, the beaches could be closed down again.
"How long these beaches remain open is 100% up to the beach-goers," Jacksonville Beach Mayor Charlie Latham said. "We're looking to keep people from accumulating out here. If they want to come out and exercise, that's great. If we have to close the beach again, we'll do it. Safety is still our top priority."
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