Miami Beach officials have finally had enough of the influx of tourists…
Miami Beach declares state of emergency
Miami Beach officials have this weekend declared a state of emergency, after the situation with spring breakers has gotten so out of hand that it can no longer be managed by law enforcement (even with reenforcement from other areas).
As Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber described the situation, “our city right now in this area has become a tinder, and we cannot have a policy of simply hoping that it’s not lit.”
With this state of emergency having been declared:
- Miami Beach’s entertainment district has a curfew from 8PM until 6AM, and that includes restaurants and bars
- Eastbound bridges to Miami Beach are closed from 9PM until 6AM; exceptions apply for city residents, hotel guests, and employees of business establishments
- Ocean Drive is closed to pedestrians and cars from 8PM until 6AM
- All outdoor dining and cafes in the entertainment district are closed from 7PM until 6AM
This is initially in place for 72 hours (through Tuesday), but could be extended after a meeting of city commissioners, based on how the situation evolves.
I think the below guy kind of sums up the attitude among Miami Beach visitors (there’s bad language in most of these videos, so watch at your own discretion).
"F*****g Covid is over man! F*****g Covid is over baby! F*** yeah!"
This is not quite how I expected this announcement to be made.
May be somewhat premature, however.pic.twitter.com/gJ0Ph3bf13
— Rob O'Hanrahan (@RobOHanrahan) March 21, 2021
The video footage from last night in Miami Beach is simply wild, in particular with police having to fire pepper spray balls into crowds to get people to leave.
The Miami Beach curfew isn’t going so well pic.twitter.com/ixkuVLqc5v
— Daniel Uhlfelder (@DWUhlfelderLaw) March 21, 2021
This is what it looked like on Miami Beach at 8pm when curfew went into effect.
You hear pops and lots of sirens as police clear Ocean Drive.
(Video Courtesy: Mitch Novick) pic.twitter.com/GQ6eJp7Tzh
— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) March 21, 2021
About 90 minutes after the curfew — and after quite a few arrests — the streets of Miami Beach were finally empty.
— Miami Beach Police (@MiamiBeachPD) March 21, 2021
There’s nothing surprising here, except…
The videos of the scene in Miami Beach shouldn’t surprise anyone. The only possible surprise is that something was done about it, in the form of a state of emergency being declared.
Florida has taken a very different approach than other states when it comes to coronavirus restrictions, or lack thereof.
In September 2020 Governor Ron DeSantis declared Florida fully open, allowing restaurants and bars to operate at 100% capacity. He even signed an executive order canceling fines for anyone who received a citation for violating coronavirus restrictions, like not wearing masks or not observing curfews.
Over the past several months — particularly in winter — Florida has become the most popular destination in the US for those looking to get away, whether people are looking for warm weather or no coronavirus restrictions.
So in a way this is the perfect storm you’d expect, when you consider how Miami Beach usually is during spring break, and then add in the state being fully open and airfare being ridiculously cheap.
While I’m not in Miami at the moment, it would appear that Miami Beach has been absolutely wild in recent days with spring breakers. It almost looks like spring break is more in full swing than ever before, and that’s not even accounting for coronavirus.
I totally get the enthusiasm, in the sense that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and we’re (hopefully) so close to resuming normal(ish) lives. However, could we please just at least wear masks and not go to nightclubs for a few more weeks?
The only thing that’s arguably surprising here is that local authorities took action and declared a state of emergency.