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Miami Beach Closes Parks Again As Citizens Flout Social Distancing Norms

Miami City Manager Morales said efforts by authorities were in vain after violators defied social distancing norms and targeted authorities with hostility.


Not a week since reopening, the city of Miami Beach closed several including the South Pointe Park after a crowd of nearly 8000 gathered without face masks, defying social distancing protocols to stem the novel coronavirus. Shortly after issuing over 7,329 verbal masks warnings and 470 failed social distancing warnings, the Miami Beach Police Department announced that it was shutting down the parks at the beaches until further notice. 

Most violators were reported at the South Pointe Park among many recreational facilities that opened in Miami after restrictions were relaxed as of April 29, the Miami Beach Police Department told US media outlets. According to local media reports, the visitors at the beach were allowed for as long as they had face masks on, and were in a crowd less than 10, and kept six feet apart. Among other orders issued was the group had to stay away from participating in any organized activities, sports or classes on the beach. However, this was not the case.  

City Manager, Jimmy Morales, said in a statement that efforts by city authorities were all in vain after violators did not heed to social distancing norms, and instead, targeted the authorities with hostility. Therefore, officers dispersed the crowd and prepared to close down the parks on Sunday, May 3 despite an uproar.

Further, he said, the city resumed the parks in “good faith "that people would follow the health safety measures, but the crowd at South Pointe Park proved to be “egregious exception”, Morales told the US media outlets. He said that the degree of non-compliance raised concerns after the crowd refused to obey the city staff that encouraged people to follow measures. 

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Legal charges for lockdown 

In a civil-government muddle, at least two beaches in Southern California pressed legal charges against Governor Gavin Newsom he ordered all beaches in Orange County to be sealed last week. Violating the social distancing norms, a crowd of at least 3000 gathered to protest against the lockdown at the Huntington Beach, according to reports.  

Governor Morales reportedly said that there was no way to “enforce” social distancing when hundreds of individuals refused to comply and had a bitter behaviour. The best way, therefore is, to keep it closed until further notice to minimize risk for the first responders, Morales added. 

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