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Pinellas Sheriff, Clearwater Police happy with beach behavior so far

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Posted at 11:58 AM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 12:01:55-04

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — One full week after reopening beaches, law enforcement officials in Pinellas County say they're happy with people's behavior so far.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri was "very happy" with how things went over Mother's Day weekend, the sheriff's office says.

"There were no citations and no arrests made. People were largely paying attention to the guidelines and being socially distant," officials said.

RELATED: Floridians flock to Pinellas County beaches on the first weekend since reopening

County leaders voted to reopen beaches on April 28. The beaches are open for all activities, but social distancing measures must be followed.

Large signs on the sand remind visitors to stay six feet apart and in groups of 10 or fewer.

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Similarly, the Clearwater Police Department says Saturday was busy, but officers did a good job of moving crowds and letting people know what parking lots and parts of the beach were closed.

Ahead of the busy weekend, the sheriff's office launched a new tool that lets people check beach and parking lot capacity in real time.

Beachgoers tell us they appreciate having the information at their fingertips to make decisions about their own safety before heading to the sand.

“I think that’s a really awesome idea. So that you can get an idea before you go out what you’re in for,” Bethany Bloomer, who is visiting Clearwater Beach from North Carolina, said.

CHECK PINELLAS CO. BEACH CAPACITY IN REAL-TIME

Harry Kenny, who lives in Clearwater Beach, agrees.

“Communication is everything. We have to know what’s going on and we have to take precautions. If there isn’t communication, there’s chaos,” he added.