Panama City Beach Begins Opening Beaches in Stages
Panama City Beach City Council and the Bay County Board of County Commissioners began a limited re-opening of the beaches Friday, April 24 from 6-9 a.m. and 5-8 p.m. daily for exercise purposes. Beach commerce, such as chair, jet ski and parasail rentals are prohibited at this time.
While non-essential travel restrictions remain in place, visitors are encouraged to heed these guidelines and to shelter at home. Panama City Beach will be still be here when the restrictions are lifted. “It’s great being able to open our beaches for limited hours. At this time we would like to ask out of town visitors to please not travel to the beach. We do not want to risk the spread of COVID-19. Restaurants are open for take-out only. Many businesses are closed. We look forward to welcoming you soon!” said the Panama City Beach Government in a Facebook post.
While it is important for your health physically and mentally to continue physical activity, it is also important to continue to take precautions against COVID-19. Social distancing protocols will be enforced, including maintaining group size to under 10 and having a six-foot separation between groups and individuals of differing parties. Additional social distance protocols are recommended which include 20 feet of separation between walking and jogging groups. For more information about protecting yourself and others from COVID-19 while visiting beaches, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
This limited reopening was the first phase of a multi-step beach reopening plan from Bay County and City of Panama City Beach government and health officials. The Panama City Beach City Council also voted to extend the closure/postponement of all special events/public spaces to May 15.
A Special Meeting of the City Council has been called for April 30 to discuss the unrestricted reopening of the sandy Gulf beach, limited use of certain public outdoor areas for commercial and retail use, and other action necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare against the spread and effects of the COVID-19. Public comments can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other measures still in place:
At this time per Gov. DeSantis, new vacation rentals, including Airbnbs, and renting rooms and homes to vacationers are still suspended until at least April 30th. The governor has issued a “stay at home” order for the entire state and shuttered non-essential businesses. Visitors from “hot spots” are still being checked at the border and asked to quarantine for 14 days or whenever they leave the state, whichever is shorter.
Stay tuned for updates!