Miami Beach in State of Emergency Due to Spring Breakers

Kaley McHaffie

Miami Beach, Florida has always been a hot-spot for spring breakers, and this year is no exception. Although the CDC has strongly recommended staying home this spring break season to prevent more COVID outbreaks, thousands of people, many of them without masks, have flocked to Miami Beach anyways.

The city declared a state of emergency on Saturday, March 20, due to the large crowds that are vacationing and partying there. The mayor of Miami Beach, Dan Gelber, put in place an 8 p.m. curfew for the South Beach entertainment district.

Early on Saturday, there were several instances pointed out by city officials where crowds of spring breakers had become disruptive and chaotic. Just hours after the curfew was put in place on Saturday evening, Miami Beach Police fired pepper balls into the large crowds of people, causing a stampede and over a dozen arrests.

City commissioners had an emergency meeting on Sunday, March 21, and voted to extend the curfew and limit access to causeways leading to the island city. These emergency measures are currently placed Thursday to Sunday until April 11, 2021.

City manager Raul Aguila stated “The goal here is to really contain the overwhelming crowd of visitors, and the potential for violence disruption and damage to property, whether intentional or not.” City officials continue to strive for safety in Miami Beach as they expect large crowds again this coming weekend.