During Spring Break, Miami Beach officials employed an early curfew for tourists, hoping to arrest those committing crime and contributing to the spread of COVID-19 in the city.
On Saturday the 20th, in Miami Beach, tourists and residents took to the streets in what appeared to be a party for normalcy. After the police’s attempt at dispersing the crowd, partiers relocated to another street. The partying continued, dancing on top of cars, gun fire, fights, and damage to several people’s property. Due to the increasing activity occurring over the week (March 15th-20th), officials have employed an 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew Monday through Thursday. The curfew will be in effect until April 12th, the approximate end of spring break. In order to keep residents happy, protect people’s property, and keep covid cases down, included with the curfew, causeways will also be closed during curfew hours.
Although officials’ intentions seem to be good, business owners are not as happy. Some business is expected to be lost as their hours will be cut into due to the curfew. It is especially upsetting to business owners because of timing, as Spring Break is one of the busiest times of years in Miami Beach.
The partying isn’t necessarily out of thin air, however. According to the WHO, covid was declared a pandemic in March, approximately when lockdowns began. So, after a year of on and off lockdowns, preventative measures, and restrictions, spring breakers were embracing their freedom as they might have come from stricter states. As mental health has been a hot topic during the pandemic, we were all affected by the lockdowns. As tourists sought an open state, it is easy to see where mentally they expressed their freedom to a dangerous and lawless degree. The Miami Beach City Manager hinted at this saying people were coming “to engage in lawlessness and an ‘anything goes’ party attitude.” It is also worth noting that partiers were not destructive towards businesses, furthering the idea that they were just expressing freedom and a good time rather than trying to incite a riot.
As a result of such employment of a curfew, other states have speculated what might happen when they fully re-open, or what might happen on the next major holiday. On the topic of covid, opening up, and vaccines, Joe Biden recently talked about celebrating the fourth of July, stating that “if we do this together, by 4 July, there is a good chance you, your family and friends can get together in your backyard or in your neighborhood and have a cookout or a barbecue and celebrate Independence Day.” While states are reopening and trying to return to normalcy, mass gatherings have not yet been given the green light. This will likely continue to occur, so long as the vaccination process remains incomplete.
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ARTICLE: SAM OBERENDER
FBA US NEWS EDITOR: CARSON WOLF
PHOTO CREDITS: NBC NEWS