First day of Miami-Dade County beach openings go smoothly

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – After being shut down for months, Miami-Dade County beaches opened Wednesday. There are rules and all of them are safety related with COVID-19 still so much of a concern.

But Wednesday was a welcome back to the beach where the mood was high and the sun was shining. Even with restrictions in place, opening day was great all around.

Miami-Dade County opened its beaches at 7 a.m. Wednesday after almost three months of COVID-caution closings. They were the last in the country to open, although Miami Beach leaders were ready last week.

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"The county mayor has the prerogative here and we are interlocked, so I don't think we can second guess that," City of Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said.

Officers and ambassadors were in place to keep the rules, which includes socially distanced spaced groups and masks to use around other people at concessions and restrooms. Good advice is to take two in case one gets wet.

An ambassador tells visitors, “Once you get on the beach and are spaced away from other people, you can take (the mask) down.”

One woman Local 10 spoke with said she didn’t plan on wearing a mask: “I don’t want to get a tan with a mask on, to be honest.”

Floating billboards are back on the water. Beachside business is not quite sizzling, but it is getting there.

And, there are other signs of an actual normal, for better or worse, like packed and pricey parking lots.

We saw parking that started at $15 and went up to $20 as soon as it the lot began to fill up.

"Supply and demand?" we asked.

“Exactly,” said the attendant.

Beach hours are from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

About the Author:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."