PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) – Beaches in Bay County and Panama City Beach are reopening for limited use after local leaders voted on the issue this week.
Eighteen miles of white sandy beach will be open partially for the public. Once in the morning from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and then 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Residents were excited to get out on the beach the first day the new rules went into place.
“I’m finally happy to see some happy faces since I’ve been staring at my husband for the last month and a half,” Bay County resident Marge Mason said.
On Friday night, the beach was packed with people enjoying the soft sand and the salty air.
“You know it’s a lifestyle. And to not be able to put your feet in the sand or in the water, it takes it out of you,” Bay County resident Ted Alexander said.
“I think it’s important for everybody to be able to come out here and enjoy the beach, it’s refreshing, it’s fun, I feel like it’s healthy for you as well,” Bay County resident Tanner Stewart said.
Most residents agreeing with officials on how they are opening the beaches up slowly.
“I wish the people from out of town could enjoy it but we don’t need that right now, we need this for our locals, for our people to be able to enjoy it and then open it up slowly so they could enjoy it also,” Alexander said.