Miami Beach imposes emergency curfew over spring break ‘chaos’

Miami Beach imposes emergency curfew over spring break 'chaos'
A city official said the measures would help keep residents and visitors safe over the holiday period. Source: EPA
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Daily US Times: Authorities in the US city of Miami Beach have declared a state of emergency over concerns that large crowds gathering for spring break pose a Covid-19 risk.

A 20:00-06:00 curfew has been announced in the city, which will remain in effect until at least 12 April.

During the curfew, traffic restrictions will be in place, while businesses in the busy South Beach area must close.

Thousands of tourists had brought “chaos and disorder” to the city, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said.

In an interview with CNN, he said: “It feels like a rock concert, wall-to-wall people over blocks and blocks. If you’re coming here to go crazy, go somewhere else.”

Spring break is a holiday period for universities and schools in the United States that usually takes place in March or April. The holiday break attracts thousands of students to Florida and other warm-weather destinations across the country.

Prior to the holiday period, officials warned tourists to “vacation responsibly or be arrested”, and a county-wide midnight Covid-19 curfew was already in place due to the pandemic.

But the Miami Beach area was thronged with revellers over the weekend, and many did not appear to be socially distancing or wearing masks.

One city official described South Beach as being “overwhelmed” by crowds on Saturday.

City manager Raul Aguila said: “You couldn’t see pavement and you couldn’t see grass.”

Mr Agulia added that the emergency measures were “necessary not only to protect our residents but our visitors, including our spring breakers who we want to keep safe”.

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