The city of Miami Beach is on alert for the approach of a new weekend and the risk that the masses of spring tourists will once again disturb the public order and defy the regulations against the covid-19. The state trying to avoid a rebound in the pandemic with more vaccines.
The governor of Florida, Republican Ron DeSantis, announced this Thursday that starting April 5, all residents over the age of 18 will be able to get vaccinated against the covid-19 in Florida.
Before, on Monday, March 29, it will be the turn of those over 40 years of age, so that in two weeks only minors will be without access to the vaccine.
Vaccines for all
To date, almost 5 million people (4.95 million) have received one or two doses of the vaccines against the covid-19 in the “Sunshine State”, according to the website that monitors the vaccination campaign, the most notable result of which is a drop in the number of daily deaths.
From 77 deaths of residents (in this state they count non-residents separately) recorded on March 1, it went to two on March 23, according to official data.
However, the daily new cases are around 5,000 and the covid-19 tests show a positivity of around 6%, without a significant drop in both indicators.
The age group of 25 to 34 years is the one that accumulates the most infections since the beginning of the pandemic (350,316) in this state, which is the third with the most cases in total (more than 2.01 million), according to Johns University Hopkins.
In this framework, the lack of control of young and not so young that occurs on weekend nights in an area of Miami Beach It worries the authorities, who have decreed a state of emergency, and neighbors and merchants.
Bernardo Naval, director of the hotel in Miami Beach of the Spanish chain Riu, tells Efe that in the area where this establishment is located, it practically only had a “slight noise problem” due to the concentrations of revelers who danced in the streets with loud music until early in the morning. .
Under the curfew in force until April 12, on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., this problem theoretically disappears, although last Saturday the police had to act harshly to disperse the they didn’t want to end the party and make arrests.
Obviously the disorders affect “the image of the city as a center of family tourism of sun and beach”, at a time of “very high occupancy” after a year in which the hotel sector was greatly affected by the pandemic, said the Naval hotelier.
“On weekends,” he adds, “we are at 80% and the rates have risen to the levels of before covid-19 and even above ”.
85% are American and the remaining 15% are mostly Latin American.
Tonight, from 8:00 p.m., together with the curfew, the prohibition to access the island of Miami Beach by three bridges that connect it with Miami, except for those who are not residents, work or are staying in hotels.
According to information from the local media, most of those concentrated in an area in the south of the city and bordering the beach that the authorities have classified as “high impact” arrive in South Florida on cheap flights from all over the United States. .UU. And are not staying in Miami Beach, where hotels tend to be more expensive, hence the closure of access at night.
Naval indicates that Miami Beach was not prepared for the phenomenon of the troublemakers “spring breakers”, as this young spring tourism is known in which Cancun and other tourist destinations in Mexico have had experience.
In his opinion, the checks of the stimulus packages to alleviate the economic damage of covid-19 They may have given the possibility of visiting South Florida and its beaches this spring to people with previously more limited budgets and, therefore, there are more people than ever in the streets where the entertainment offer of Miami Beach is concentrated.
But not everything is concentrations of people having fun. As Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber has said, there are also people who come with “bad intentions.”
The most serious criminal case of those that accompany this avalanche of “spring breakers” is the death of a young 24-year-old tourist who appeared dead in her hotel after two young people, also tourists already arrested, drugged and raped her, according to the charges brought against them.
The cause of death is still unknown, but if it is confirmed that it was from drugs, they can be charged with murder.
“What we are experiencing this year is not the typical ‘spring break,” Councilman Steven Meiner told the local CBS channel on Thursday.