We are getting close to that time again when thousands of college students flock to South Florida beaches for spring break.
Last year, crowds packed in just as the coronavirus began to spread here.
Then beaches closed, stopping the party in its tracks.
Now, the concern is what will happen this year?
“Given where we are now with COVID, the lack of vaccines, the fact that UK strain is in Florida pretty prominently. The fact that there are now cases of the South African strain here, spring break could tend to be a significant super spreader,” said concerned CBS 4 viewer David Moss.
He looped us in as he reached out to local leaders to find out what the plan will be this time around.
“If people are coming here to go crazy please don’t, go somewhere else,” urged Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber. “If you’re coming here because you think we don’t have rules with regard to COVID, go somewhere else as well,” he said.
Mayor Gelber said with the governor’s orders, it’s difficult to enforce mask mandates and other rules, but Miami Beach plans to do what it can, including not approving permits for big events.
“We obviously are going to be enforcing the curfew, vigorously,” Mayor Gelber said. “We still have the mask mandate. We’re limited by the governor as to what we can do to enforce it. But we’re still walking up to people asking them to wear masks and giving them masks,” he said.
Broward Mayor Steve Geller spelled it out, “If they come, they stay out in the open on the beach, on the breeze, they’re 6 feet away from each other, God Bless them. We’re not going to do a thing to them,” Mayor Geller said.
The county plans to vigorously enforce mask mandates and county rules.
Geller said they will be watching bars and restaurants closely.
“I do not want to shut down a single business in Broward County because of COVID. But if we’re going to avoid shutting them down then they need to comply with our orders with masks and social distancing,” he said.
Neither mayor is holding out much hope that the governor will call for stricter rules during spring break. They just stress they will strongly enforce rules that are on the books already.