Some Central Florida Beaches Have Begun to Reopen
Four Central Florida counties are relaxing some restrictions on the area's beaches.
Florida closed most beaches mid-March in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, as communities start to reopen due to the lifting of the state’s stay at home order, counties are reopening some of Florida’s most popular beaches.
Brevard, Flagler, Pinellas and Volusia Counties are loosening restrictions on beach access.
Recently, Volusia County opened beaches to visitors—with some restrictions.
Effective Saturday, May 2, the county began to allow visitors to sunbathe on the beaches once more. This includes New Smyrna Beach, Daytona Beach and Ormond Beach.
Restrictions continue on groups of more than six people. Groups must maintain 10 feet of space between one another, according to the county’s website.
The county is taking other measures to prevent crowding. Officials have opened only three ramps onto the beach for handicapped accessibility. Parking in off-beach lots and at parks is limited. Beach restrooms, showers, playgrounds, splash pads and picnic areas continue to be closed at this time.
Brevard County’s Space Coast is also inching towards fully reopening beaches.
While the county has declared that all beaches are open, beach parking is still restricted. Visitors may park in the following locations:
- Shepard Park (south area only)
- Fischer Park
- Downtown Parking Garage
- 2nd Street South (ADA Accessible Dune Crossover)
- Meade Avenue (west of Cocoa Beach Pier entrance)
Other municipalities have not yet opened parking, but many plan to in the coming two weeks:
- Satellite Beach (beach parking closed until May 15)
- Indian Harbor Beach (beach parking closed until May 7)
- Indialantic (beach parking remains closed)
- Melbourne Beach (beach parking closed until May 15)
Flagler County has also reopened its beaches, which include Flagler Beach and Palm Coast. However, the boardwalk, pier and parking along AIA are currently closed in Flagler Beach.
Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties
Central Florida’s West Coast is also cautiously reopening. While Hillsborough County beaches remain closed at this time, beaches in Pinellas County are open with restrictions as of May 4. For more information—and some of the wittiest writing we’ve read about restrictions—visit the Visit St. Pete Clearwater website to learn more. (Tip: you may need to refresh the page a time or two. We were getting errors while trying to view it.)
This story will be updated regularly to reflect new developments.