The City of Miami Beach has declared a state of emergency in an attempt to control spring break crowds, which are said to be especially ruthless this season.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber announced on Saturday that a set of curfew is going to be enforced for at least 72 hours. The highways are to be shut down and people will not be allowed to roam in the streets at night time.
The strict measures were taken due to the violation of Covid’s safety rules by the growing reckless crowds that had been partying crazily at the beach over the week, leading to a surge in cases around that area.
The mayor put out his concerns while talking to a news channel and said many people are visiting the place with no intention to follow the rules and this has resulted in disorder and chaos more than we can endure. The city manager went on to call the crowd gatherings a “Rock concert” and said that it was quite overwhelming for him.
People staying in South Beach hotels will not be asked to leave, however, the city encourages them to stay within hotel sites after 8 P.M. Moreover, roadside cafes are ordered to be closed by 7 P.M.
According to Aguila, a special commission meeting will be called to further discuss and reevaluate the situation and measures after a three days period.
Hundreds of arrests have been made by the police by now and it even resorted to using pepper balls to disperse massive crowds after a brawl broke out on Ocean Drive.
Conditions like massive crowds, close contacts, and screaming are particularly worrisome for the authorities as they can easily spread the virus among a large number of people. Another important reason to take action against such gatherings is to control the contagion of the multiple variants now present in the country.
There were reports of crowds turning on police officers that left two officers hurt while arresting a suspect. A few incidents of property damage were also reported during the dispersion of huge crowds. Police Chief Rick Clements said that this behavior of the people is a bit more for them to be able to handle.
The public is hoping for the authorities to ease the restrictions in their next meeting, hopefully not to cause another havoc resulting in utter chaos but to act as responsible citizens and help control the spread of the deadly virus.