Miami Beach officials have finally had enough of the influx of tourists …
Miami Beach declares a state of emergency
Miami Beach officials declared a state of emergency this weekend after the spring breaker situation got so out of hand that law enforcement agencies could no longer manage it (even with reinforcements from other areas).
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber described the situation as follows: “Our town in this area is now a tinder and we can’t just hope it won’t be lit.”
After this state of emergency was declared:
- The Miami Beach entertainment district has a curfew from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. This includes restaurants and bars
- Bridges going east to Miami Beach are closed from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Exceptions apply to city dwellers, hotel guests and business employees
- Ocean Drive is closed to pedestrians and cars from 8:00 PM to 6:00 AM
- All restaurants and cafes in the outdoor entertainment district are closed from 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
This is initially planned for 72 hours (until Tuesday) but could be extended after a meeting of the city commissioners depending on the development of the situation.
I think the guy below sums up the attitudes of visitors to Miami Beach (most of these videos have bad language in them, so watch them at your own discretion).
“F ***** g Covid is about man! F ***** g Covid is about baby! F *** yeah!”
So I wasn’t expecting this announcement.
May be a little premature though.pic.twitter.com/gJ0Ph3bf13
– Rob O’Hanrahan (@RobOHanrahan) March 21, 2021
The footage from last night in Miami Beach is just wild, especially as the police have to shoot pepper spray balls into the crowd to get people to leave.
The Miami Beach curfew is not going so well pic.twitter.com/ixkuVLqc5v
– Daniel Uhlfelder (@DWUhlfelderLaw) March 21, 2021
This is what it looked like on Miami Beach at 8 p.m. when the curfew went into effect.
You can hear popping noises and lots of sirens as the police clear Ocean Drive.
(Video courtesy of Mitch Novick) pic.twitter.com/GQ6eJp7Tzh
– Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) March 21, 2021
About 90 minutes after the curfew – and after some arrests – the streets of Miami Beach were finally empty.
An aerial view of Ocean Drive and 8 Street after officials began to disperse the crowd due to the 8 p.m. curfew in the Miami Beach Entertainment District. #MBPDprotecting pic.twitter.com/1JDrlLVVX6
– Miami Beach Police (@MiamiBeachPD) March 21, 2021
There’s nothing surprising here except …
The videos of the Miami Beach scene shouldn’t come as a surprise. The only possible surprise is that something has been done about it, in the form of a state of emergency.
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, so restaurants and bars are 100% occupied. He even signed a fines waiver order for anyone cited for violating coronavirus restrictions, such as not wearing masks or not following curfew.
Over the past few months – especially winter – Florida has become the most popular travel destination in the US if you are looking for warm weather or if you have no restrictions on the coronavirus.
In a way, this is the perfect storm you would expect given how Miami Beach usually is during the spring break and then add that the state is fully open and the airfare is ridiculously cheap.
While I’m not in Miami right now, it seems that Miami Beach has been absolutely wild with spring breakers for the past few days. It almost looks like the spring break is in full swing more than ever, and that doesn’t even explain the coronavirus.
I’m totally excited in the sense that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and we are (hopefully) so close to resuming a normal (ish) life. Could we please just at least wear masks and not go to nightclubs for a few more weeks?
The only thing that comes as a surprise here is that the local authorities have taken action and declared a state of emergency.