Wednesday, 05 May, 2021


Watch Miami Beach Spring Breakers Rebel Against Curfew, SWAT Intervenes

Despite COVID risks spring breakers flock to South Florida Despite COVID risks spring breakers flock to South Florida
Noah Ferguson | 22 March, 2021, 20:28

The Miami Beach city commission on Sunday voted to extend an extraordinary 8pm curfew and emergency powers for up to three more weeks to help control unruly and mostly maskless crowds that have converged on the party destination during Spring Break.

Miami tourism officials say billions of dollars were lost when the pandemic first erupted a year ago, canceling spring break and forcing beach closures across the Sunshine State.

Local officials enforced the curfew after mass fighting and a rise in crime among the mass of spring breakers who are also defying coronavirus-safety protocols, they said.

Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Clements said he was concerned that the situation would get out of hand. Police ended up arresting six people, but only after dispersing pepper balls to break up the large crowd.

Under the new order, officers blocked off the Art Deco historic district at 8 pm and all businesses inside the zone were forced to close, Interim City Manager Raul Aguila told reporters on Saturday.

A countywide midnight curfew was already in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new curfew of the city is set from eight in the evening until six in the morning, according to an Associated Press report. He said often when an officer makes an arrest, crowds of people will circle the police and challenge the detainment.

"These crowds are in the thousands", he added.

Throngs of revelers flocking to Miami Beach, Florida, for spring break have become so uncontrollable that authorities imposed a curfew Saturday that they hope will spoil the party.

Clements said the tactics his officers have used to break up spring break crowds have been because of violent and unsafe behavior and has nothing to do with the global pandemic.

The storied Clevelander South Beach hotel said it was halting its food and beverage operations until at least Wednesday. "I think when they're young Black people [on South Beach], the response is, 'Oh my God, we have to do something'".

Women fight on the street near Ocean Drive on March 19, 2021 in Miami Beach, Florida. Under Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis' pro-business stance, Florida has no statewide mask rules, limits on capacity or other such restrictions.

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber told CNN's Anna Cabrera, "Too many are coming, really, without the intention of following the rules, and the result has been a level of chaos and disorder that is just something more than we can endure".

Miami tourism officials say billions of dollars were lost during those three months past year.

"During the day, it's pretty tame", Gelber said, saying that visitors were enjoying the beaches and the hotels and restaurants were "doing a pretty good job with outdoor dining".

The city's tourism arm just spent $5 million on its biggest national advertising campaign in 20 years.

The causeways to Miami Beach from the mainland will be closed to non-local traffic starting at 9 p.m. for the next few nights, Gelber said.

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