For nearly a week, tens of thousands of people have flocked to Spring Break in Miami as many overlook the Mayor’s COVID warnings.
On Saturday night, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber declared a state of emergency and enforced a new curfew as spring break crowds overwhelmed local law enforcement.
“Too many are coming, really, without the intention of following the rules, and the result has been a level of chaos and disorder that is just something more than we can endure,” Gelber told CNN’s Ana Cabrera.
Inbound traffic to Miami Beach was insane on Saturday afternoon.
What it looks like getting onto Miami Beach right now pic.twitter.com/gtMUkNMVIz
— Carlos Suarez (@CarlosNBC6) March 20, 2021
Even Transportation Security Administration reported over 1.4 million Americans flew on Friday and Saturday, the most screened air passengers since before the pandemic began, with tens of thousands, said to have arrived at Miami International Airport and other warm destinations.
The Miami Beach Police Department arrested “at least a dozen” people following the 8 p.m. Saturday night curfew as many disregarded the rules that will be in place for the next 72-hours.
On Saturday night, Gelber said parts of Miami Beach “felt like a rock concert, wall-to-wall people over blocks and blocks.”
Gelber said throughout the week, the situation worsened each day, and the virus pandemic “made things even more challenging.”
City officials have also encouraged all businesses operating along Miami Beach to close operations at curfew.
“This was not an easy decision to make,” interim City Manager Raul Aguila told reporters. “We are doing that to protect the public health and safety.”
Aguila described the crowds as many who weren’t social distancing nor wearing a mask. Here are some more chaotic scenes from last night:
Here’s Miami Beach tonight, 10 minutes after new 8 p.m. city-wide curfew.
— Brooke Shafer (@BrookeShaferTV) March 21, 2021
Miami Beach Police meant business❗️
SWAT enforcing 8pm Curfew earlier! pic.twitter.com/P37tp3InwJ
— ONLY in DADE (@ONLYinDADE) March 21, 2021
The Miami Beach curfew isn’t going so well pic.twitter.com/ixkuVLqc5v
— Daniel Uhlfelder (@DWUhlfelderLaw) March 21, 2021
Last weekend, more than 150 people were arrested in the entertainment district as many were unorderly, forcing police to unleash crowd control measures, including pepper balls.
What’s ironic this year, as partygoers cause havoc in Miami Beach and local officials enforce curfews, there wasn’t much of a crackdown during the virus pandemic outbreak last year.