TAMPA, Fla. - Governor Ron DeSantis recently gave the green light for some beaches and parks to reopen if it can be done within CDC social-distancing guidelines, and some north Florida beaches became among the first to allow people to return since closing to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Back in March, officials were criticized for leaving beaches open during the spring break season. Most counties eventually closed their beaches in response to COVID-19 or kept them open under very restrictive conditions. Other more high-profile beaches in South Florida — including Miami Beach — were closed by state order.
Here's an ongoing list of what beaches in Florida are open. Hopeful beachgoers should check with local authorities for any restrictions not listed here.
TAMPA BAY AREA BEACHES:
Pinellas County beaches, parking and restrooms will reopen Monday, May 4. Sunbathing and sitting in chairs will be allowed, but visitors must practice social distancing. Sheriff Bob Gualtieri says there will be a strong presence of deputies.
County-owned beaches, parking and restrooms will reopen Monday, May 4. Chairs, coolers and canopies will also now be allowed, but beachgoers to maintain social distancing and keep groups to 10 or less The changes do not include Lido Beach, which is in the city of Sarasota, remains closed.
Tampa beaches are closed until further notice.
Commissioners voted unanimously to reopen Coquina and Manatee beaches. Initial parking limits were to be removed May 13.
Pasco County beaches are closed until further notice.
Hernando County’s two beaches, Pine Island Park in Spring Hill and the beach area of Rogers Park near Hernando Beach will reopen Wednesday, April 29 with the following restrictions:
- No organized sports, events or large gatherings
- No rental of county buildings, pavilions, etc.
- Visitors are encouraged to maintain social distancing
Fort Island Gulf Beach is closed until further notice.
SOUTHWEST FLORIDA BEACHES:
Charlotte County: Starting April 27, beaches open but restrooms closed.
Lee County: Starting April 29, beaches, beach access points, parking lots and free-standing bathrooms will reopen. County-owned Fort Myers Beach Pier will remain closed.
Collier County: County beaches and Marco Island beaches remain closed.
FLORIDA PANHANDLE BEACHES:
Escambia County: Starting May 1, open normal hours
Santa Rosa County: Starting May 1, open from 2:30 to 7 p.m.
Okaloosa County: Starting May 5, beaches can reopen without any time restrictions, according to the sheriff's office, but social distancing guidelines are still required.
Walton County: Starting May 1, open normal hours
Bay County & Panama City Beach: Starting May 1, beaches can reopen with no time restrictions.
Gulf County: Starting May 1, open from 6:30 to 9 a.m. and 4:30 to 7 p.m.
Franklin County: Not currently open.
Wakulla County: Not currently open.
Jefferson County: No closures listed.
Taylor County: All county parks are closed and boat ramps are closed except Keaton Beach boat ramp for commercial fisherpersons with a saltwater license.
Dixie County: County beaches remain open.
FLORIDA'S ATLANTIC BEACHES:
Nassau County: Not currently open.
Duval County: Open from 6 to 11 a.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. for exercise only.
St. John's County: Open from 6 a.m. to 12 noon for exercise only.
Flagler County: Beaches open; social distancing requirements in place.
Volusia County: Volusia County beaches are open for exercise only.
Brevard County: Brevard County beaches are currently open in accordance with CDC social distancing of 6 feet between individuals and no groups larger than 10. However, several beachside municipalities have enacted closures to all activities except walking, jogging, biking, fishing, surfing and swimming until April 30, 2020. Activities such as sunbathing, sitting in chairs, organized sports or lying on blankets and grouping of persons is not permitted. The Canaveral National Seashore is closed.
Indian River County: Indian River County beaches are open for exercise only. Beachgoers must stay at least six feet apart and not gather in groups larger than 10.
St. Lucie County: Not currently open.
Martin County: Not currently open.
Palm Beach County: Not currently open.
Broward County: Not currently open.
Miami-Dade County: Not currently open.
Monroe County leaders announced Friday they will continue to remain closed to visitors through the month of May, though Key West reopened beaches and parks to local residents on April 27.
If you feel sick:
The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock. Questions may also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Email responses will be sent during call center hours.
CORONAVIRUS IN FLORIDA: What you need to know
AROUND THE WORLD: CoronavirusNOW.com
Map of known COVID-19 cases:
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