Miami Beach recloses park after issuing thousands of face mask violations
The city of Miami Beach, Fla., reclosed South Pointe Park Monday after issuing thousands of face mask violations in the five days after it was reopened.
The city’s government announced the park’s closure “until further notice” on Facebook, while reiterating the mandatory face mask policy taken after the spread of the coronavirus.
“Friendly reminder that you MUST wear a face cover when enjoying any one of our open #MBParks,” the Facebook post said.
Parks across Miami-Dade County, including South Pointe Park, reopened last Wednesday after being closed for more than six weeks to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the Miami Herald reported. County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said the parks could reopen if certain rules were followed, including the mandatory use of face masks unless a person is exercising or has respiratory issues.
In Miami Beach, more than 1,550 warnings were issued for face mask violations in the first two days parks had reopened. On Saturday, more than 2,800 warnings were issued, and 2,432 were given out on Sunday, according to the Herald.
Officials said the majority of these warnings were given at South Pointe Park, prompting City Manager Jimmy Morales to shut down the park’s parking lot on Sunday and then the park entirely on Monday.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said the shutdown is the “only option the manager has” since police are not being asked to enforce the rules, according to the newspaper.
“The social distancing is serious and it’s too early to disregard it,” Gelber said. “There is a lot of frustration but that can’t be the organizing principle of what we do.”
Before the park’s closure, a commissioner said he heard residents were organizing a protest of the city’s emergency orders, according to the Herald.
Miami-Dade County has reported 13,092 cases, leading to 378 deaths, according to the Florida Department of Health.