Memorial Day Weekend

Safety Preparations Underway in Miami-Dade for Memorial Day Weekend

Miami-Dade County expects an increased number of visitors to arrive throughout Memorial Day weekend. Here's how officials plan to keep everyone safe.

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The first night of this year's Memorial Day weekend brought less chaos than anticipated to cities like Miami Beach.

However, officials expect more tourists to arrive in Miami-Dade County throughout the holiday weekend.

"Really what happens is I have a relatively small city of 85,000 people, but on these kinds of weekends, you could have hundreds of thousands of people on our barrier island," says Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber. "It reaches occupancy where it's very difficult to move around."

With an increased number of visitors, officials have added the following guidelines and precautions to keep everyone safe this weekend:

Increased Police Presence

To manage safety, hundreds of officers are present on ATVs and bikes along busy streets like Ocean Drive.

"We want a lot of people to come and behave responsibly," says Executive Officer Ernesto Rodriguez. "If you’re going to drink, don't drink and drive."

Memorial Day weekend is considered a high-impact weekend, which means police will work 13-hour shifts, license plate readers will be activated along the causeways, and code enforcement will step up patrol for businesses.

Safety Guidelines for Boats and Beaches

If you're planning to visit the beach, keep in mind that no alcohol, inflatables, or coolers are permitted in the sand area.

Additionally, residential areas will be blockaded, so you must have a local ID to visit those areas.

Lieutenant Pete Sanchez with the City of Miami Fire Department advises that anyone planning to go boating does so with an experienced boating captain. Additionally, he says it's important to have that captain be your designated driver.

“We’ve put two fire boats in service, they have the capability to respond to any kind of emergency, whether it be medical, boating accidents, fires, drownings,” said Lt. Sanchez. “We also have a dive team on standby at a local station where they will be ready in case we need extra man power and additional resources.”

Lt. Sanchez also says that life jackets are essential. He says there should be one jacket per person on the boat, and that children 13 and younger should wear their jackets while the boat is in motion.

The weather in Miami can change in an instant, so Lt. Sanchez also reminds those going boating to check the latest weather forecast before going out on the water.

Lt. Sanchez also recommends having a float plan – which is letting your friends and family know where you’re headed on the boat and what time you’re expected to go and come back.

COVID-19 Protocols, Vaccination, Testing

Masks are no longer required at Miami-Dade County facilities, and all remaining requirements affecting hospital systems and county employees have been lifted.

Vaccination and testing sites across Miami-Dade may have modified hours this weekend.

The latest information can be found here.

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