New Smyrna beaches fill to capacity despite warning amid coronavirus outbreak

Despite recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other government agencies to practice social distancing and self-isolation, some spring breakers are determined to party on — and they're packing Florida beaches to full capacity.

The New Smyrna Beach Police Department posted a photo on Thursday of a sign that read: "NSB Beaches Full." This after the Florida Department of Health announced cases of the coronavirus have jumped in the state to 390. There are 8 reported deaths.


The beach patrol there told FOX 35 News that the access ramps were full by 11 a.m. on Thursday. They expect similar crowds tomorrow.

One beachgoer told FOX 35 News that "it’s a really nice day out so we thought you know instead of staying inside might as well come out have a good time.”

Another said that "everybody’s so scared and shocked you know about what’s going on in the world today, so it’s kind of good that they have at least something open.” 

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Cities and states across the nation are taking extreme measures in an attempt to flatten the curve of the coronavirus spread, such as placing “shelter in place” orders and instituting nightly curfews. In response, many people have canceled vacations and postponed spring break plans.

Florida party spots like Miami Beach have taken proactive measures by declaring it illegal for more than 10 people to gather – both on the beach and in the city. Miami Beach has also shut down bars and restaurants, although takeout and delivery were still available. 

Mayors for Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale further said they would issue fines, and possibly arrest those found violating the new restrictions. However, as of March 18, the Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has still refused to shut down beaches entirely amid the spread of coronavirus.

Gov. DeSantis announced Tuesday that beaches can remain open, but people will need to keep their distance from each other and cannot be in groups larger than 10.

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Recommendations from the CDC say to avoid congregating in groups bigger than 10 and to practice social distancing. 

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Brevard County Policy Group voted on Wednesday to close all public parking lots that give access to Brevard County beaches. 

The closures will cover the 72-mile Brevard County shoreline, beginning Thursday in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Fox News contributed to this report.