« During this pandemic, tourists keep ruining everything, » said a Miami Beach resident.
The city of Miami Beach declared a state of emergency on Saturday when huge, noisy crowds of spring breakers wreaked havoc on the streets.
Authorities will enforce a 8:00 p.m. There is curfew every night from Saturday, and the main roads into the city will be closed from 9 p.m. until 5am, but for a trace. Tourists are not asked to leave, but rather to stay in their hotels after hours.
Universities across the country have canceled the usual week-long spring break, but academic commitments have not stopped students from reaching vacation spots, especially in Florida, where coronavirus precautions are more sloppy than other states.
Hundreds of partygoers have become violent in the past few days, arguing with the outdoor dining tables and chairs on the streets. A fight that began Thursday night at a restaurant on Ocean Drive, a popular party boulevard, ended with multiple arrests and riot police countermeasures, including firing pepperballs into the crowd.
A 29-year-old resident of Miami Beach told The Daily Beast, « During this pandemic, tourists keep ruining everything. »
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said at a press conference on Saturday, « I love that this is a beautiful one Place is where people come here to collect and enjoy our weather and beaches. But right now it has become too difficult in the tourism industry to go on like this. “
Gelber speculated that spring breakers hit the target city harder than usual because » there are very few places in the country that are open « .
The Clevelander Hotel, a well-known destination on Ocean Drive, announced on Saturday that it would close its restaurant and bar until March 24th for security reasons, even though it would pay staff salaries continuously.
“Lately we have been increasingly concerned with the safety of our dedicated employees and valued customers, as well as the city’s ability to ensure a safe environment in the area, ”said a Clevelander statement.
It remains to be seen how strong the masses will be in their demands for parties and how aggressive they will be Police will be in the implementation of the restrictions. The hotel staff who spoke to The Daily Beast were skeptical that security measures would control the night owls.
« This is going to cause trouble, isn’t it? 8:00 pm That will never happen. This is just wild, » said Patty, one Staff member at the Starlite Hotel on Ocean Drive, Saturday for The Daily Beast.
« Honestly, the Miami Beach closure means nothing. People will just flock to Brickle and Wynwood. People just have to go, » he said.
The tourists have locals staying home for a variety of reasons – the coronavirus, violence, and more mundane issues like traffic jams.
« I haven’t seen traffic this bad in years. It’s like ultra traffic, but worse, ”said another resident, referring to the annual electronic music festival. « I’m afraid to walk honestly down the street. »
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