Florida beach hot-spot BANS Spring Breakers as under-23s are refused entry from out-of-state amid Covid fears
A FLORIDA beach party hotspot has banned Spring Breakers from out of state who are under 23 years old amid concerns over a super-spreader event.
The Wharf in Fort Lauderdale has announced the ban will apply throughout March in a further effort to curb Spring Break debauchery.
The bar which is popular with spring breakers has said in an Instagram post that guests who have out-of-state IDs will be restricted to those 23 or older.
Partygoers have already been crowding onto beaches and into bars and restaurants in Florida since yesterday as nearly 2,000 Americans yesterday died from Covid-19.
College students are keen to enjoy the state's weather and the lax Covid restrictions.
Pictures show them packed together in the sun, maskless and partying.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber told WSVN he thinks "we're expecting a larger than typical spring break."
Here a midnight curfew is in place and patrols have been beefed to stop boozing on the beach, while in Fort Lauderdale, steel barriers enforce social distancing between bars.
College students were spotted in crowds on the sandy beaches,
Experts have warned against people traveling to Florida or other places as states work desperately to roll out vaccines and get as many people as possible the protection against the virus.
"We understand there’s a lot of angst to get out and enjoy our beautiful weather and our beautiful beach, but we’re just asking for cooperation from our college students that do decide to come to Fort Lauderdale," Frank Sousa, the area's Police Assistant Interim Chief told WSVN.
Raul Aguila, Miami Beach's city manager, said during a city council meeting that people heading to Florida "with an anything-goes party attitude" should "change your flight reservation now and go to Vegas," The Wall Street Journal reported.
Some Florida beaches are shutting down early, with curfews meant to help dampen possible virus spread.
According to the Covid Tracking Project, another 65,000 cases were reported across the nation on Thursday.
Data from the center revealed at least 1,743 Americans died from Covid.
Following a post-Christmas surge in January, cases in the state – and across the nation – have been on the decline overall, data shows.
With travelers from different states heading to Florida for spring break, however, there's fears that there may be an uptick in cases again.
LA County public health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer warned against people traveling as California works to get a hold on transmission.
She warned that "spring travel can lead to another surge that frankly would be almost impossible to tolerate," CBS affiliate KCBS-TV reported.
“Travel increases the risk of getting and spreading COVID-19,”Ferrer added.
“To avoid this, please postpone travel and continue doing your part to slow the spread so that our recovery journey isn’t sidelined," she urged.
In his State of the State address on Tuesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis compared the state's economy and status to others with more lockdown restrictions – like New York and California.
"There are not a whole lot of Floridians who are itching to move from Florida to lockdown states, but there are thousands and thousands of people who are seeking to leave the lockdowns behind for the greener pastures in Florida," DeSantis said.
"We have long been known as the Sunshine State – but, given the unprecedented lockdowns we have witnessed in other states, I think the Florida sun now serves as a beacon of light to those who yearn for freedom," he added.
As many students head to The Sunshine State for spring break – and others have sought out a more permanent move – states including Texas and Mississippi announced they're lifing Covid restrictions.
Texas Gov Ian Abbott announced the state's mask mandate will be lifted, and businesses can operate at full capactiy.
Mississippi Gov Tate Reeves wrote on Twitter on Tuesday: "Starting tomorrow, we are lifting all of our county mask mandates and businesses will be able to operate at full capacity without any state-imposed rules.
“Our hospitalizations and case numbers have plummeted, and the vaccine is being rapidly distributed. It is time!"
President Biden slammed Connecticut for a "neanderthal" move as Gov Ned Lamont revealed on Thursday the state is to lift nearly all Covid rules.
Face masks will be required, but restaurants, retail stores, museums, and more will be allowed to operate at 100percent capacity.
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