JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Some north Florida beaches are opening starting Friday, becoming among the first beaches to reopen in the state since coronavirus concerns forced beach-goers away.
Mayor Lenny Curry said Duval County's beaches are reopening Friday afternoon with restricted hours, and they can only be used for walking, biking, hiking, fishing, running, swimming, taking care of pets and surfing.
The beaches will be open between 6 a.m. and 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Curry said in a video posted to social media.
Gatherings of 50 or more people are prohibited and people must still practice social distancing.
“Folks, this could be the beginning of the pathway back to normal life, but please respect and follow these limitations," Curry said. “We'll get back to life as we know it but we must be patient."
Florida officials were criticized for leaving beaches open during spring break last month. Most counties closed their beaches in response or kept them open under very restrictive conditions.