Naples Closes Beaches After Visitors Defy Social Distancing Measures

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A Florida city closed its beaches Sunday, one week after they reopened, because officials said visitors were not practicing social distancing and could have contributed to the spread of the new coronavirus.

Officials in Naples on Florida's southwest coast said that the crowds on Saturday were packed too tightly together, so they decided to close beaches until a city council meeting can be held Monday to discuss solutions.

Councilman Gary Price went to the beach Saturday after learning about the crowds and took photos of people not obeying rules that require groups to remain apart.

“It’s pretty sad,” he told the Naples Daily News. “It’s such a popular place. We’ll figure it out. We are doing this to keep people safe. We are erring on the side of caution.”

Several residents told the newspaper that the beach should remain open, but limited to local residents.

“Not fair that Collier County residents cannot enjoy their beaches,” Lauren Cibelli told the paper on Facebook. “I was at the beach during the week, and everyone practiced social distancing. This is not right that residents suffer.”

Beaches in most of the state reopened last week except in South Florida.

Meanwhile, barbershops, hair salons and nail salons prepared to reopen in much of the state Monday with workers being required to wear masks. Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Friday that they could reopen in every county except hard-hit Miami-Dade and Broward, which remain under tight restrictions.

The shops will have to operate by appointment only and will have to spend 15 minutes after each customer disinfecting the station. They are being discouraged from allowing customers to wait inside.

The state reported Sunday that about 40,600 coronavirus cases have been confirmed since the beginning of March and at least 1,721 people have died.

AP and NBC 6
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