POMPANO BEACH, Fla. – Officials of three North Broward cities are the latest to announce the closure of public beaches in an effort to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Mayors and city managers of Pompano Beach, Deerfield Beach and the town manager of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea met Tuesday to decide on the closures. The beaches in those cities will be off-limits starting at 6 a.m. Wednesday, March 18.
A date was not given when the beaches would reopen.
On Monday, Hollywood, Dania Beach and Hallandale Beach officials announced their beaches were closed. Hollywood also closed its popular Broadwalk. On Sunday, Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach were the first in South Florida to shut down their beaches.
Those two cities were dealing with crowds of spring breakers, and officials at the beach cities north of Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale raised concerns that the groups would move to the areas that remained open.
Pompano Beach, Lauderdale-By-the-Sea, and Deerfield Beach are also acting in accordance with Florida Governor Rick Desantis’ orders, closing bars and nightclubs at 5 p.m., and telling restaurant owners to have diners practice distance separation by not allowing groups larger than 10 people. Desantis said that restaurants must limit patrons to maintain safe distances between diners. Under the governor’s order, restaurants can only operate at half capacity.
Florida’s governor is also encouraging people not to linger in restaurants, but to order take-out food or use meal delivery.
“We don’t want large crowds congregating right now. We want enough isolation so that the virus has more difficulty spreading,” DeSantis said at a Tuesday morning news conference at the Capitol.