Wild Spring Breakers Cause Miami Beach To Declare State Of Emergency

Filed Under: Travel

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).

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.

About 90 minutes after the curfew — and after quite a few arrests — the streets of Miami Beach were finally empty.

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.

Bottom line

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.

  1. Florida Governor DeSantis’s reckless actions the past year are a result of his ambition to be the next president. What a shame that so many will have died because of this idiot.

  2. Bottom line: visitors from who knows where states are causing havoc to the locals in S beach, because I sure as hell know it’s not me or anyone I know that actually LIVE in S beach. My FB group of locals is 3k strong and none of them are doing this.

  3. Idiots. Most of them unvaccinated. Don’t care what they catch nor take back with them to any family who owns them.

    Couldn’t just wait a bit longer, get the shot, and give a damn about their fellow Americans…..

  4. The police never “have to fire pepper spray”: it’s always a policy decision on their part. They choose to fire it against their fellow citizens.

  5. Let’s not forget Florida and California have the same covid deaths per capita despite two different approaches. However one state has unemployment that is twice as high as the others. I’ll let you guess which is which.

  6. Ah the youth of America, so comforting they will guide our country’s future. We were in Hollywood Beach north of Miami just as the Spring Break madness descended, and were more than happy to leave.

  7. Shame it seems like some people have to take it too far. But I do think we need to be careful of narrative here and picking something to highlight to show how ‘crazy’ everything is in Florida. Just because there are technically no restrictions in Florida doesn’t mean that things are ‘back to normal’.

    I was in Miami about 3 weeks ago. Stayed on South Beach for some of it. During the last year I’ve spent time in Singapore, the UK, Spain, Sweden, California, Florida. A sample of very different approaches. My experience in Miami was that despite the lack of formal restrictions mask usage was virtually universal (even outside) and the same as with what I’ve experienced in Singapore and California (yes, contrary to popular belief US mask usage, in the metro areas, is greater than I’ve experienced anywhere in Europe and v similar to my experience in Asia). Also most businesses were still requiring social distancing even if they didn’t have to (and people were still pretty universally obeying it). Maybe it’s all gone to crap in the last 3 weeks. But it certainly wasn’t a free for all while I was there.

  8. How different two countries. In the UK we had 33 deaths today and we’re being told it’s unlikely we’ll be allowed to leave the UK this summer.

    Americans are partying like Covid doesn’t exist

  9. Where was your outrage when California experienced a surge due to similar reasons (non residents from middle america visiting) back in December and July?

    As a Florida native, I wish you wouldn’t be so hard on our (shared) home state!

  10. DeSantis is a good governor, not reckless. He has left the people to make their own decisions as government should. I believe in some moderation and he could have been better and recommending masks and there was no reason for Spring Breakers to go so crazy. With the vaccine out, a few more months may help BUT at the same time…I do not want any government to tell me when I can eat, when I can breathe without a mask on and when I have to be in my home.

    for the Florida haters… look at our case numbers and deaths per capita. LOWER than many states that had lockdowns.

  11. @Ryan

    You’re right, good governments should let people make their own decisions. Repeal all the dumb DUI, seat belt, homicide and etc laws. Let the people decide! Government should stick to just recommending people not drive under the influence or murder their fellow citizens.

  12. One despairs for the future if these freakin’ lunatics are representative of this generation of university students. They should be carted off and detained in a football stadium, or such, until the pandemic resolves.

  13. Since Alabama’s completely maskless non-social distanced victory celebration back on January 11th, the number of confirmed new cases in Alabama have dropped 75 percent. SuperBowl Super Spreader……….didn’t happen……….. so all you covid “sky is falling” in Miami Karens please take a seat.

  14. DeSantis: covid is over everyone come to Florida

    *all the covidiots comes to Florida *

    Florida PD: shocked Pikachu face

  15. @Darryl – the entire country has dropped about 75% in cases since Jan 11.

    Alabama no different, except as a backwards a$$ state still of course.

  16. @Steve_g – and let’s not forget that Florida’s population density if far different than California’s, as are its demographics, poverty rates, employment sectors, and a whole bunch of other relevant indicators…and let’s also not forget that this is an airborn pathogen that spreads through aerosols. You conveniently left this out. But, you know, why do facts matter anymore?

  17. Looks a whole lot different than Minneapolis and a whole bunch of other cities last summer. Covid, of course, was the last of anyone’s concern then.

  18. @John,
    No because they can easily spread it to other people who has other medical conditions, are immunocompromised, and older, etc. Not to mention COVID can often leave long term health problems even if people don’t die from it. Not worth the risk at this stage, especially when numbers have been going down and vaccines are being rolled out. Being careful now could make the summer months a lot more enjoyable.

  19. @John, @Tahsin, With most older folks and medically venerable who want a vaccine having received one, the main concern about these types of unrestricted activities becomes spreading it amongst themselves (even if they are healthy & young) and letting the virus mutate to something that is vaccine resistant; we’ll then be back to square one!

  20. The only problem is that essentially all the Universities do no have Spring Breaks this Spring. Those are replaced by “wellness days” spread through the semester to keep the students from traveling to Florida and other sunny destinations.

  21. Just keep in mind that Florida may be the most transient state in the country (don’t ask me to back that up). With that said, the sheer influx and outflow of people is the concern. They may not necessarily add to Florida’s totals, but I wonder how many Covid cases in other states have been, or will be, a result of people going there, coming home, and testing positive. Why I wish Biden had gone through with the original plan of restricting travel to Florida. It might be said that DeSantis is using the rest of the country to benefit his own local agenda. I guess that’s one way to define, “Patriotic.”

  22. Ben, you really need to visit your home state. You continue to push a narrative that simply does not match facts on the ground. This is Florida. On the best day you don’t need to look far to find someone out to lunch. Spent much time on 95 lately? But Covid precautions are very much a part of daily life and most people comply. Spring break is a different animal. Nothing new here. That kids/people increasingly don’t obey orders from authorities to disperse is not unique to Florida either. Come home and look around a bit before the weather becomes unbearable.

  23. Ben, regarding this line: “However, could we please just at least wear masks and not go to nightclubs for a few more weeks?” That’s what people have been saying for over a year now.

  24. @Miamiorbust the man lives in hotels, doesn’t own a car and only flies J. It’s safe to say that he’s out of touch regarding what’s really going on in the real world.

  25. I live in Miami and the residents have been pushing back against the party crowd, politicians and the mayor listened and for the last few years, they have cracked down. There’s been an alcohol sale ban after midnight. I think they’ve done a remarkable job policing the chaos

  26. Ron DeSantis literally has just “murdered” many Americans. Expect a European type spike in two weeks… Given the low vaccination rate in Florida and many of these Spring Breakers will bring the new strain back to their home states, all hell is literally breaking lose now. Not to mention I doubt many of these folks are vaccinated too. God everyone hates restriction but Pandemic is not over. The sad fact is that many Floridians and Americans will not held this stupid man responsible when they see their family and friends suffer. Remember that even if you don’t die from Covid-19, there are plenty of unseen after effects that we don’t know. Young people can still get Covid-19.

  27. Just in time for everyone to bring Covid back to their home states, cause a spike in cases elsewhere despite common sense precautions there, and for Floridians to pat themselves on the back for how poorly other areas of the country are doing compared to them.

  28. I wish people would stop speaking out against large maskless crowds. You’re all interfering with natural selection! And as others here have commented, don’t let the government tell you what to do… Get rid of seatbelt laws, legalize hard drugs, legalize drunk driving, abolish speed limits, legalize public nudity and sex, just for starters.

  29. They are probably all just very excited about getting their COVID relief checks in the mail. Who wouldn’t be excited about not having to work courtesy of our idiotic federal government? Party-on, dudes!

  30. They are not spring breakers, the people that fill Miami Beach every year at this time are a bunch of gangs and thugs from northeast cities, down here to sell drugs and party. They always cause problems. Nothing new.

  31. Ben,

    Is it the “Spring Breakers” or the open society in Florida thats bothering you? College kids are gonna drink and party and it gets out of hand. Daytona Beach cut back on what was allowed and they moved on to other locals. Florida advises alternatives for those looking at a spring vacation. Lots of families with young kids want to get away but have no interest in being surrounded by drunken college kids.


    Covid or not, Spring Breakers don’t really change.

  32. @Ryan: Not only do I agree with you, but Florida’s COVID statistics do as well. They’ve done quite well for a state with such a huge elderly population.

    As for the “spring breakers”, those don’t appear to be college students. It looks more like a celebration/riot after the NBA championship game.

  33. Blame the stupid Colleges and school districts that allowed Spring Break to happen in the middle of a pandemic. They should have kept students in school since they haven’t been there for a long time and not give them 2 weeks of freedom to go wild.

  34. @rysn and @stogieguy7 “
    In Florida, 33,369 people have died from the coronavirus. I wouldn’t describe that as “doing quite well”. As a comparison South Korea (a country of over 51 million compared to Florida’s population of 22 million) has had under 1700 people die from the corona virus.

  35. I am local who ran for a few miles on the Beach this weekend. My observations were that many were renting those 3-wheeled carts, Lambourginis and Bentleys etc….. I am not in their age group but would guess that many of the thousands who descended on Miami (not just Miami Beach but also in City of Miami) were older than 21 years of age. Many appeared to be in their 30’s.
    And, btw- this weekend was in keeping with a typical weekend for the last 6 months. Covid in Miami is almost non-existent.
    I would say about 30% of people in Miami wear masks. I was vaccinated 2 weeks ago and I think most people think it is a non-issue.

  36. These mostly don’t seem like spring breakers, if not more like people taking advantage of cheap airfares and stimulus money. The same type of altercations have been occurring for months in San Juan, PR (primarily Condado area).

  37. If you watch the videos, the lion’s share of these people do NOT fit the profile of spring breakers. These are just trashy adults from all over the country converging in one place to cause trouble.

  38. Spring breakers engage in horrific behavior and embarrass themselves every year in many countries. Please stop trying to blame everything on the governor. Where is the personal responsibility and accountability? I had a lovely trip to Miami Beach a few weeks ago where I took advantage of everything being open and acted like a responsible adult.

  39. Florida won.
    Schools opened at the start of the school year.
    Bars opened.
    Restaurants opened.
    Businesses opened.

    If you look at similar areas – same pop density – Florida cities were about the same or better than similar cities in CA/NY/IL/TX.

    They experimented and won. Any comments to the contrary are uninformed, obtuse or jealous. (And I would have pushed for tighter controls in 2020, but, looking at the data, I would have been wrong.) Steer clear of the politics. They were right and they won. (I voted for Biden)

  40. God some of you people simply won’t give up! With your insults, name calling such as “murderers, idiots” etc. I guess you simply cannot handle a leader who allows his constituents to make their own damn choices ! So tired of this nanny state! That you subscribe too. Your type of belief system is crazy and its herd like followers simply do not have an independent thought in they’re heads. Do all of you like Michael F, not have the ability to think and protect yourself, or is forcing your own beliefs on others the only thing you can fathom ?

  41. @Tom Smith lives in a world where over 33,000 preventable deaths in Florida is “winning”. How perverse is that? I don’t think the friends and family of the deceased thinks that Florida “won”

  42. De Santis, the Northern Bolsanaro. The American white electorate is so perverse that this guy might fancy his chances.

    Curious that the crowds in Miami were treated far more strictly than the terrorists who stormed the Capitol. I wonder why.

  43. Ok, Florida haters, let’s put your usual propaganda tactics aside and get something straight – being ranked 27th in deaths per capita is a terrible job?

    I’m not even mentioning much older population and god forgive the fact the state’s been open – pure and simple, being ranked 27 out of 51(the list includes DC), which on the surface is as objective of a metric as can be, is a terrible job?

    At worst it’s average, at best – better than average.
    And now yes, let’s circle back to the: a) FL had none of the draconian restrictions that you idiots love so much and that have worked so incredible in other states b) all along FL had a much elder population and a lot more people at risk c) last summer you didn’t mind large crowds, didn’t cry of superspreader events.

    It’s a free country, nobody stops you from living in this delusional world of yours where Desantis is a murderer and Cuomo is a Grammy winning noble warrior. Just one kind request – next time you need to get attention and feel very important and self righteous, leave others the f alone.

  44. @ Tom Smith et. al. — I get the point you’re trying to make, but Florida and California (not to mention IL and NY) are about as similar as horseshoes and hand grenades in this case. If all else were equal, then yes, there are some aspects of the Florida plan that could be counted as a “win”. But very little is equivalent:

    • Florida is disproportionately white (and we know that the cascading failures of US health systems mean minorities have worse outcomes for all diseases)
    • Florida has very low housing density, with more suburban areas allowing for distancing
    • Florida has fewer major cities
    • Florida has negligible public transportation (and limited reliance on it)
    • Florida has statewide warm-weather winters, allowing for fewer indoor interactions
    • International traffic/shipping/transit profiles are very different in each of those states
    • Florida has fewer than 1/3 the number of migrant/seasonal agricultural workers as California (which has ~600k workers who move throughout the state based on the harvests, and typically live in overcrowded communal housing of the poorest quality)
    • On the flip side, Florida has about double the % of people under 65 without health insurance as in California, which could have a significant impact on outcomes for people who do become very ill
    • Florida has a larger per capita population of adults 65+ (~20%, versus ~15% in California), and while we know the elderly are more susceptible to poor COVID19 outcomes, that also means Florida has fewer adults of working age commuting, required to interact daily in-person, etc.

    Those are all things that we know impact both spread and outcomes of COVID-19, so you’d need to adjust for all those factors as well, not just “per capita”. And then add in that we know from cell phone data that many people from other states have taken trips to Florida, where they have spread/caught COVID-19 before returning to their home states (where their sickness, hospitalization, and potential deaths are counted, further skewing numbers).

    Similarly, I live in a city where most kids have been in school since September, and our hospitalization numbers are through the roof. We *still* have ICU occupancy hovering between 70% and 90% in a given week! And someone looking at those two data points might draw a certain conclusion. But they’d be missing that we are also a medical hub for the region, and take patients from neighboring counties and states, one of which has a population that has refused to make even basic concessions to the general welfare. So it’s a mixed bag.

    A better (though still imperfect) comparative pair of states would be South Dakota and Vermont. But there are so many variables for all this data that it is probably more useful to look at general trends of what is working, and apply those as broadly as possible, versus anyone taking (thoughtlessly premature) victory laps.

  45. Too bad lucky blocked my comment. There is one particular type of people you see here. Nobody wants to state the obvious because they might be called a name.

    I won’t continue my rant in my other comment but I want to see lucky twerk with these people

  46. Hey Ben, if you hate living in Florida so much, I’ll gladly take your pre-construction penthouse off your hands at a discount. And if not me, I’m sure one of the hundreds who move to Miami daily will be interested.

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