It's Fourth of July weekend and you're probably wondering whether your favorite Tampa Bay area beaches are open despite Florida shattering it's daily record again with a single-day increase of more than 10,000 COVID-19 cases on Thursday.
Simply put: yes.
Unlike many southern Florida counties, including Miami-Dade and Broward, Tampa Bay area beaches will be open for the holiday weekend. However, many counties are still asking beachgoers to continue social distancing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Check out the list below for details each county wants you to know if you're planning a trip to one of their beaches:
Fort Island Gulf Beach and Hernando Beach will remain open for recreational activities following CDC guidelines and Citrus County Health Department recommendations.
The CDC, as a reminder, encourages reducing the spread of respiratory illnesses by practicing everyday preventative actions, including:
- Visit beaches that are close to your home
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others (“social distancing”) and take other steps to prevent COVID-19
- If you are sick or were recently exposed to COVID-19 STAY HOME
- ALWAYS avoid congregating in large groups on the beach, at this time
"The County is committed to the well-being of our citizens and asks everyone to do their part in getting the facts before sharing information. We are following COVID-19 Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and direction from the Florida Department of Health to keep our employees, their families and the community healthy."
Pasco County Beach Parks will remain open from dawn to dusk.
"With the holiday weekend approaching, we’d like to remind our patrons of the importance of social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, and that we are still operating under Phase 2 of Governor DeSantis’ Order which prohibits gatherings of more than 50 people."
Sarasota County beaches will remain open Fourth of July weekend.
The City of Sarasota says, at this time, Lido Beach will also remain open.
While beaches will remain open, Longboat Key has announced all beach access parking is closed, in addition to public restrooms at Bayfront Park and Joan Durante Park.
Public beaches will remain open. The county says there will be additional law enforcement on Anna Maria Island to assist with an influx of residents and visitors.
Manatee County officials are also encouraging residents to avoid prolonged exposure to the heat.
"If you’re outside, find shade, drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Heat exhaustion can happen quickly, so know the signs of heat-related illness," said County Administrator Cheri Coryea.
Longboat Key has announced all beach access parking is closed, in addition to public restrooms at Bayfront Park and Joan Durante Park.
Closing Pinellas beaches is "not an option the County is considering at this time," Marketing and Communication Director Barbra Hernandez told ABC Action News.
Public beaches and nature preserves will remain open. Click here for a full list.
Hillsborough County wants to remind residents to enjoy outdoor spaces safely:
- Stay home if you are experiencing cold- or flu-like symptoms
- Follow minimum 6 feet social distancing guidelines
- Do not gather in groups of more than 10
- Wash hands frequently
- Bring your own water