ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Pinellas County Commission has voted to to reopen county beaches and public pools.
- Pinellas County commissioners vote 6-1 to reopen beaches Monday at 7 a.m.
- Pinellas commission votes unanimously to reopen pools Thursday at 6 a.m.
- Social distancing will be enforced on beaches
- Pools must stay under 50 percent capacity and follow all CDC guidelines, including cleaning protocol
The beaches will reopen Monday at 7 a.m.
Social distancing guidelines of 6 feet of separation will be in effect.
Officials said there won’t be restrictions.
People can exercise, take a walk or sit down along the beach as long as they stay 6 feet apart from people. Pinellas County deputies will be patrolling the beaches to make sure people are following guidelines.
However, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said enforcement is the last thing they want to do in these circumstances.
"We have no desire to take any enforcement action," Gualtieri explained. "The purpose is, is just to make sure that people are doing the right things because the last thing any of us want is to see a resurgence of this virus."
Commisioners voted 6-1 to re-open beaches and unanimously to re-open pools.
Officials spent the early part of the meeting Tuesday discussing what would be allowed before moving to public comments.
Beaches and pools have been empty for most of the past month.
Pinellas County Administrator Barry Burton wrote a memo to commissioners urging them to open the beaches, their parking lots and restrooms. He also wrote that pools across the county should reopen, but with a limited capacity.
Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard on Tuesday emphasized that residents should use common sense when decending on the beaches.
"We know people have cabin fever and the beaches are a wonderful place to go," he said. "But we also want to make it safe."
Some city leaders said re-opening non-essential businesses should be the top priority ahead of beaches and pools.