Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Thursday that the state was cracking down on crowded beaches out of fears of the coronavirus spreading even as he said he expected the unemployment numbers to rise in the Sunshine State.
DeSantis appeared on “Fox and Friends” on Thursday morning and said that spring breakers will no longer be able to come to the beach in large groups.
“The message I think for spring breakers is that the party’s over in Florida, you’re not going to be able to congregate on any beach in the state,” DeSantis said. “Many of the hot spots that people like to go to, whether it’s Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Clearwater Beach, are closed entirely for the time being.”
DeSantis said that beaches across the Sunshine State will follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) of limiting groups to 10 people or less.
“The bars are closed so you’re not going to have a place to congregate there, so we would just tell those folks maybe come back next year when things are better, but that is not what we’re looking for here in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said. “Every single beach will have to abide by the CDC guidelines, no more than 10 people, you have to be socially distant, not every beach is going to remain open, but some will.”
The governor also offered a warning about the state’s economy, noting that Florida, which remains dependent on tourism, is “seeing massive cancellations,” insisting “the numbers are really off the charts in terms of the cancellations.”
DeSantis said he expected Florida’s unemployment rate–which stood at a record low 2.8 percent in January–to rise due to coronavirus.
“Our unemployment rate prior to this got down to 2.8 percent,” DeSantis said. “Our economy was humming, things were going along great and now this external event, this virus is going to dislocate a lot of people and so we’re very mindful of that and we’re working hard to be able to work with them just as we work to be able to protect our citizens from the virus.”
In the meantime, some counties across Florida, including Miami-Dade County, are closing beaches to slow down the spread of coronavirus.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.