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Miami Beach uses geo-targeting on social media to warn Spring breakers about pandemic rules

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – There was calm in Miami Beach on Tuesday, but not all of the students who will want to let loose during Spring break have arrived. The period ends on April 12.

The city is using geo-targeting on social media to warn tourists about this year’s rules on everything from social distancing to alcohol consumption, noise levels, and the midnight to 6 a.m. curfew.

The marketing campaign’s main message: “The Message is Clear, Vacation Responsibly or Be Arrested.”

Raul Aguila, the city manager, recently said during a commission meeting that tourists need to know that the “anything-goes party attitude” doesn’t belong in South Beach. The city has a zero-tolerance policy for street fights, theft, and illegal drug use.

“Change your flight reservation now and go to Vegas,” Aguila said.

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber has said he wants to get rid of the entertainment district. The police presence is higher in the areas of Ocean Drive and Collins and Washington avenues, between Fifth and 16th Streets. Goodwill Ambassadors will be deployed there on weekends.

While all package liquor sales will cease citywide after 10 p.m., the sales in this area will cease after 8 p.m. Parking garages will operate at 50% capacity and charge a $20 rate that is good for a single entrance and exit. On-street parking will be prohibited in the area along Collins Avenue.

On public beaches, alcohol consumption is prohibited. There will be capacity limits. Coolers, inflatable devices, tents, tables, and other similar objects are banned. Police officers are also working with the U.S. Coast Guard to find illegal boat charters and party boats.

Restaurants’ sidewalk operations must close by midnight, and live or amplified music is prohibited on the west side of Ocean Drive from Ninth to 11th Street.

Drivers will face access restrictions to streets in residential areas. There will be license plate readers to alert police officers. During the weekends, officers will discourage cruising around the South of Fifth Street, or SOFI, neighborhood by only allowing access via Alton Road and Washington Avenue.

Watch city’s PSA

About the Authors:

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.