Destinations ditch CDC guidelines for beaches


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Some college kids are at packed beaches and others are spending time with family, so spring break looks different for everyone as the pandemic ensues.

USA TODAY

An influx of spring break visitors overwhelmed Miami Beach, Florida, officials over the weekend, resulting in more than 1,000 arrests and an emergency declaration shuttering businesses at 8 p.m.

That declaration has been authorized for an extension on a weekly basis through April 13.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for beaches include suggestions for beachgoers to wear face coverings, avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet away from people they don’t live with. 

Yet some beach hot spots went into spring break this year with few, if any, COVID-19 restrictions.

‘It’s become a tinder’: Miami Beach declares state of emergency for entertainment district due to spring breakers

‘We got bored and wanted to go on a trip’: Tales from a pandemic spring break in Cancun, Mexico

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Florida beaches urge COVID-19 protocols but don’t require them

Popular spring break destinations such as Daytona Beach and Panama City Beach are open to the public with no COVID-19 mandates in effect regarding the beaches.

Officials at both destinations urge beachgoers to follow CDC guidelines for visiting beaches, and the city of Daytona Beach requires all visitors and residents to wear masks at indoor locations other than a residence.

Spring Break 2021: Great for local Florida businesses, but is it risky for people’s health?

Video shows maskless crowd at popular Texas spring break locale

Beaches at South Padre Island, Texas, were opened with no COVID-19 restrictions as of March 10. Social distancing protocols and masks both were recommended by the city’s website.

A video posted on Friday on the Clayton’s Beach Bar and Grill Facebook page shows a mostly maskless crowd of hundreds attending a concert at the South Padre Island location.

Texas officials in other Gulf Coast beach towns, including Corpus Christi and Port Aransas announced earlier this month they increased patrols to monitor potential problems with the expected influx of spring breakers. And 6 p.m. CT alcohol curfew was enacted at beaches in Port Aransas, Texas, ahead of spring break.

South Carolina beach town requires masks but not at the beach

On March 1, the city of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, another popular destination for college students over spring break, extended its mask mandate through March 31.

However, the city’s tourism website points out that masks are not required at its beaches as long as proper social distancing is observed. 

Los Angeles County beaches do require face coverings

Beaches within Los Angeles County, including the popular spring break destination Long Beach, still require face coverings when visitors are not in the water.

Additionally, gatherings of more than 15 people with more than three households are not allowed.

Spring break trip: Millions of travelers board flights amid pandemic travel surge

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