MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – Some Miami Beach visitors are taking to the day to avoid rowdy crowds following nights of chaos in the streets.
On Sunday afternoon, city commissioners passed a motion to extend the emergency declaration enacting an 8 p.m. curfew and eastbound causeway closures until the end of spring break, an order first issued on Saturday.
The motion states the 8 p.m. curfew in South Beach’s entertainment district will be enforced Thursday through Sunday until the end of spring break or April 11. The main roadways affected are Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue and Washington Avenue, between Fifth and 16th streets.
The MacArthur, Julia Tuttle and Venetian Causeways eastbound lanes will be shut down from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m., Thursday through Sunday. Lanes on the MacArthur and Julia Tuttle causeways will remain open for residents, hotel guests, delivery drivers and people heading into work after they clear a checkpoint.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber spoke about the rowdy crowds on CNN, Monday morning.
“The governor said, ‘Everything’s open, come on down,’ but the problem is that we’re still in the midst of a pandemic. It’s not in our rearview mirror yet, by any means, and it’s certainly not in my county and my city, so that’s a challenge,” said Gelber. “With this many people coming, it’s sort of a triple threat of too many crowds, too many people acting out and a pandemic, and those three together just create a very challenging moment.”
Some visitors who are in town on vacation said even they don’t want to get mixed up with the rowdy revelers.
“I just need some Vitamin D, the sun to recharge, so I can go back to work,” said one visitor from Detroit.
He and his friends are focused on daytime activities for their vacation.
“Just chill, lay on the beach and you know, just regular activities, not the turn up,” said another visitor in the group.
They said before they arrived in South Beach on Sunday night, they were aware of what has been going on in the entertainment district for weeks.
The men also said they were relieved to see city leaders put a curfew in place.
“Get people off the street, get it under control because, I mean, if you don’t do that, people will be out here all day, all night,” said one of the men.
“We have it set to extend every week until it’s not necessary — hopefully it will be unnecessary soon,” said Gelber.
“I feel like everybody ain’t bad. We had nothing to do with it what’s going on,” said one visitor from Illinois.
He said he came into town two days ago, just in time for day one of the curfew. It wasn’t what he expected on his vacation but also said he understands.
“A hundred percent, I mean, if you’re going to act ignorant and put people’s lives in danger and do all that, it’s better to just… you gotta protect people, you feel me? This whole thing is a mess out here,” he said.
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