Thousands of college students and visitors are set to gather in Florida to celebrate the first spring break without any coronavirus (COVID-19) restriction in three years.
Before the pandemic, Florida is a popular destination for spring breakers in the United States. Residents in popular vacation spots like Cancun, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Pensacola and South Padre Island are expected to deal with a throng of college students on their vacation in the coming weeks.
In America, spring break usually starts in the first week of March and lasts until April, depending on term dates and when Easter falls during the year.
Various public school districts in Florida, including Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas and Sarasota counties, along with the University of Southern Florida and Tampa, are on vacation starting March 12 until March 20. This means at least 570,000 students in the state will be on holiday, along with teachers and staff.
Last year, at least 65,000 passengers flew into Tampa Bay International Airport per day during peak weeks for spring break. But in 2020, the number of spring breakers was very low in March and April, with only 1,500 or so travelers flying in per day.
For 2022, Fort Lauderdale officials are preparing by carrying out safety measures before the slated arrival of spring breakers from all over the country. At a news conference on March 4, police and fire rescue officials in Fort Lauderdale told reporters that they expect to welcome an unprecedented number of visitors since the pandemic began.
“We absolutely expect at least double if not triple what we saw last year as far as attendance,” said Fort Lauderdale Police Maj. Bill Schultz. He added that the city is already seeing a lot of “early birds” and that it is ready for the arrival of more spring breakers over the next few weeks.
New rules for spring breakers amid the pandemic
City officials and police officers will be handing welcome letters to spring breakers as they check in at hotels in the area. The letters contain reminders for the rules and regulations that will be enforced in all tourist destinations.
For 2022, new rules include a ban on coolers, tents or any other folding furniture that can go into the sand. Additionally, live and amplified music is forbidden. Underage drinking and public intoxication on the beach and sidewalks are also prohibited. Spring breakers are also not allowed to use electric or motorized scooters until further notice.
Open house parties were also banned, with alcohol sales ending at 2 a.m. Visitors can’t park in closed business parking lots, unless the parking lot is actively being managed.
It is also illegal to throw things from, climb, or jump from balconies. Finally, no metal shovels are allowed on the beach and no holes may be dug deeper than two feet.
Schultz concluded that these rules and regulations “will be absolutely and strictly enforced,” along with a significant increase in police patrolling around the city to ensure that spring breakers follow them. (Related: Florida the first US state to recommend AGAINST COVID vaccines for healthy kids.)
Fort Lauderdale, often called “Spring Break Central,” also has a Bar Watch program in place to ensure the safety of spring breakers. Under the program, bartenders and staff at other businesses in the area are trained to be on alert for people in distress and to prevent sexual assault.
Under a new program, volunteers can help set up tents on beaches and in popular touristic areas, including downtown, to help heavily intoxicated people or older visitors in need of medical assistance. The volunteers will also offer assistance to spring breakers who aren’t familiar with the area, have lost their friends or have cell phones with drained batteries.
Because of the high amount of traffic congestion also expected over the next few weeks, Schultz is encouraging tourists to travel around Florida by booking water taxis and rideshares.
Rideshare pickup and drop-off areas will be made available on Cortez Street near the beach and the 200 block of Southwest 4th Avenue downtown, which is a hotspot for tourists because it has the most entertainment and a very active nightlife.
Visit Pandemic.news for more articles on how the rest of America is recovering amid the pandemic.
Watch Miami police use tear gas to forcefully enforce the curfew on spring breakers below.
This video is from the Red Pill channel on Brighteon.com.
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