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Palm Coast Wednesday, Apr. 29, 2020 1 month ago

Wide open: Restrictions lifted on Flagler beaches, thanks to compliance with social distancing

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The Flagler Beach pier and boardwalks will remain closed.
by: Guest Writer

Updated 8:15 a.m. April 29

by: Julie Murphy
Public Information Officer, Flagler County

Flagler County and its beachfront municipalities are announcing that, effective immediately, all beach limitations, implemented due to COVID-19, will be lifted based on the compliance seen over the past week – with the exception of social distancing. Following safe sanitation practices is strongly recommended.

“The goal remains to allow residents physical and mental health activities,” said Jonathan Lord, Emergency Management Director. “We recognize that a mental health activity can include sitting on the beach, as long as everyone is respectful of social distancing. Congregating in groups is not allowed.”

While all 18 miles of beach are open, there are additional restrictions within the city of Flagler Beach for the time being.

Handicapped parking and beach access will be available just north of the Pier, at South Second Street and State Road A1A.

Access to the beach is available at dune walkovers at the following locations: from Third Street North to the north city limits and from Ninth Street South to the south city limits. The dune walkovers on the boardwalk will remain closed. The adherence to utilizing only open dune walkovers is greatly appreciated, as our sea dunes are extremely fragile.

Fishing on the beach and the walking of pets will only be permitted north of 10th Street North and south of 10th Street South.

“Compliance is the key. Thank you to our community for abiding by the guidelines that have been put in place over the last few weeks,” said Flagler Beach Police Chief Matt Doughney. “We expect compliance to continue as we move forward. We’ve got six miles of beaches in our city, so please spread out, stay separated and stay safe.” 

 

 

April 25 story:

Flagler County and its beachfront municipalities are announcing that effective at 7 a.m. tomorrow — Sunday, April 26 — all 18 miles of beaches will be reopening around the clock to allow residents physical and mental health activities.

“The overwhelming compliance with social distancing that we continue to witness in our parks and at our beaches validates that the time is right for this to occur,” said County Administrator Jerry Cameron.

Social distancing requirements remain in place with the beach reopening, as the intent is to allow for physical and mental health activities — exercising not socializing — walking, biking, surfing, fishing, not congregating. Those fishing will be allowed to carry a small cooler or container for bait and tackle.

“We are supportive of the beach reopening decision made by community leaders,” said Florida Department of Health-Flagler Administrator Bob Snyder. “In normal times, we advocate physical activity through walking, running, surfing and enjoying the outdoors. So ‘exercise don’t socialize,’ keep moving and don’t forget your sunblock and other protective health measures.”

The unincorporated areas of the beach — inclusive of Beverly Beach and Marineland — will be open all day.

However, the county’s beachfront parking lots and restrooms may not be accessible until Tuesday, April 28, to provide the county park’s staff enough time to remove barriers and clean restrooms.

Parks are not open 24 hours a day; they are open sunrise to sunset. Boat ramp usage is permitted after hours.

The city of Flagler Beach will reopen its 6-mile segment of the beach at the same time.

However, for the time being, the city’s boardwalk, boardwalk bathrooms, parking on State Road A1A in front of the boardwalk, and the city’s pier will remain closed.

Access to the beach will be allowed from Third Street North to the northern city limits, and, from Ninth Street South to the southern city limits. The dune walkovers on the boardwalk will remain closed.

Fishing on the beach and dog walking will only be permitted north of 10th Street North and south of 10th Street South.

“When the beaches opened earlier this week under restricted timeframes, the level of compliance in Flagler Beach was outstanding,” said Flagler Beach Police Chief Matt Doughney. “We’re respectfully asking that all beach visitors continue to comply with CDC guidelines and abide by social distancing of at least six feet. We’ve got six miles of beaches in our city, so please spread out, stay active and stay safe.” 

Public health and well-being is at the forefront of all policy decisions.

“We continue to head towards the new normal, as our understanding of COVID-19 grows,” said Jonathan Lord, Flagler County Emergency Management Director. “As our daily routines expand, we must continue to protect ourselves and others through the ongoing use of cloth face coverings and social distancing,”

All residents and businesses must abide by executive and emergency orders, and follow Florida Department of Health and CDC guidance, to include:

  • Staying home except when engaged in essential services or activities
  • Wearing cloth face coverings when out in public
  • Practicing aggressive social distancing at all times – people should keep a minimum of 6 feet of space between one another, and keep groups to less than 10, which includes while shopping and waiting in the check-out line 
  • Frequent hand washing for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based (at least 60% alcohol) hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are, or may be, sick

Additionally, those who are sick and/or told to self-isolate are to: remain at home unless seeking medical care, cover coughs and sneezes, wear a facemask around others and disinfect touched surfaces daily.

COVID-19 health related questions or concerns should be directed to your regular healthcare provider or the Florida Health hotline at 866-779-6121.

COVID-19 business concerns should be directed to the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation at 866-532-1440.

All other COVID-19 government services questions or concerns may be directed to a specific municipality or the Emergency Operations Center at 386-313-4200.

Check for current information on Flagler County’s website www.flaglercounty.org, and follow “Flagler County Government” or “Flagler County Emergency Management” on Social Media. The county’s social media team will provide updates through these official accounts:

Flagler County Government 

Flagler County Emergency Management

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