BCSO and PCBPD continue to monitor beaches as tourism increases

Bay County

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — It was another busy weekend in Panama City Beach throughout Mother’s Day weekend, as visitors come to enjoy the fresh air and step onto the white sand.

“There are a lot of people on the beach,” said Kayleigh Guitro, an out-of-state visitor who said that although there was a crowd, people were following the rules. 

“They’re not all on top of each other,” she said. “They’re all separated, they’re all taking the proper precautions of the virus.”

The second weekend of open beaches has brought in visitors from all over the region, both in and out of state; with restaurants now reopened as well, many are expecting the tourism to increase.

“We see people coming to town, we understand they’re going to come,” said Panama City Beach mayor, Mark Sheldon. “We’ve seen activity pick up in the roadways, we’ve seen it in the grocery stores so we know people are here.”

Sheldon said that everyone coming to enjoy the beach needs to continue to follow CDC guidelines.

Both the Bay County Sheriff’s Office and Panama City Beach Police Department said they continue to monitor beach activity and enforce the rules.

“We know people are going to come down, why wouldn’t people come to the world’s most beautiful beaches,” said Sheldon. “But at the same time, we’re still focusing on keeping our residents safe and making sure that we’re following all the safety measures that city council has placed.”

Sheldon said that city leaders are continuing to closely monitor the area’s COVID-19 case numbers, and that public safety is their number one concern.

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