In Pictures: Hundreds of People Arrested in Miami Beach | News from the United States and Canada
Citing more than 1,000 arrests at one of the best party venues in the United States, officials in Miami Beach, Fla., On Sunday warned unruly spring break crowds were gathering in the thousands, fighting in the streets. streets, destroyed restaurant property and refused to wear masks. has become a serious threat to public safety.
In a last-minute meeting on Sunday, city officials voted to extend a highly unusual time to 8 p.m. EDT [00:00 GMT] curfew for another week along famous South Beach, with the option to extend it until April if needed and pointed out that this isn’t the typical Spring Break crowd. They said these are not students, but adults looking to let loose in one of the few fully open states during the pandemic.
Law enforcement officers from at least four other agencies, as well as SWAT teams, were added to help contain the noisy crowds, but it was not enough. After days of celebration, including several confrontations with police, Miami Beach officials declared a very unorthodox curfew on Saturday from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. EDT. [00:00-10:00 GMT], forcing restaurants to stop outdoor seating entirely during the three-day emergency period, and encouraging local businesses to voluntarily close.
More than half of the more than 1,000 arrests came from outside the state, said city manager Raul Aguila, adding that many came “to indulge in lawlessness and an ‘all is well’ party attitude. “. He also noted that the crowds weren’t eating at restaurants or frequenting businesses that generated much-needed tourist dollars, but simply gathered in the thousands on the streets.
Local officials have struggled to enforce COVID-19 orders. Florida has no statewide mask rules, capacity limits or other such restrictions, thanks to the pro-business stance of Republican Governor Ron DeSantis.
“I think there are very few places that have been opened because our state has been opened,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber. “We are in the middle of a pandemic. The virus is still very present in our community. We have 1,000 infections a day almost every day. “
Miami tourism officials say billions of dollars were lost when the pandemic first erupted last year, canceling spring break and forcing beach closures in the Sunshine State. The city’s tourism arm just spent $ 5 million on its biggest national advertising campaign in 20 years.