'WE ARE OVERWHELMED': Miami Beach imposes curfew to control spring break crowds

Ocean Drive after 8 pm Miami Beach curfew

He added that police had hoped it was a one-time event but "last night we had three of those situations and we had a young lady that got hurt as a result of trying to run away from a crowd". "That is just wild", Patty, an employee at the Starlite Hotel on Ocean Drive, told The Daily Beast on Saturday. Miami Herald noted that the sudden orders encompass the most-far reaching restrictions on spring break partying.

During the next 72 hours, visitors will have to leave the streets and restaurants will have to close their doors in the main tourist areas of South Beach at 8pm, Miami Beach's entertainment center, officials announced.

"I don't see this is a sort of spring break thing, because I don't think these are college kids", Gelber said.

"People just need to go", he said.

Some people responded by jumping on top of cars, twerking and throwing money into the air.

There is simply too much disorder for the Miami Beach Police Department to handle, Gelber said.

The commission on Sunday agreed to grant Aguila the authority to extend the curfew and street closures for up to three more seven-day periods as needed, starting on Tuesday.

He said a group of vehicles blocked the street "and basically had an impromptu street party".

He said often when an officer makes an arrest, crowds of people will circle the police and challenge the detainment. "Tables and chairs were thrown and used as weapons", he said.

"Property was destroyed", the police chief said.

Miami Beach imposes curfew
Miami Beach imposes curfew Credit Cristobal Herrera-Ulashkevich Shutterstock

"We've done everything we can to try and mitigate the behavior we're seeing", Clements said.

But this year "the mayor is clearly higher than in previous years", said Mayor Dan Gelber. City officials were scheduled to hold a meeting on Sunday to decide whether to extend them.

Aguila said Florida's lax Covid-19 rules have encouraged people from outside the state to visit.

"I think there are very few places that have been open as our state have been open", Mr Gelber said.

To clear them out, videos showed, police turned on their lights and sirens and fired pepper balls into the crowds.

Local officials and businesses have struggled to balance courting tourists to boost the economy while doing so safely amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Eastbound lanes on Julia Tuttle Causeway will be closed to traffic 9 p.m. through 6 a.m.

Tourism is the Sunshine State's No. 1 industry, generating more than $91 billion in 2018, and a year ago spring break was one of the first big casualties of the pandemic as beaches shut down across Florida when the US went into strict lockdowns. The city's tourism arm just spent $5 million on its biggest national advertising campaign in 20 years.

At the same time, local officials banned alcohol from the beach, along with all alcohol sales after 10 p.m.in an effort to curb partying. The city even sent cellphone text messages to tourists warning, 'Vacation Responsibly or Be Arrested'.


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