NW Florida counties discuss possibly re-opening beaches

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — As some beaches are starting to re-open in Florida, our local county leaders are beginning to discuss possibly re-opening beaches.

Typically, beaches would be packed with spring breakers but for the past month they have been empty.

“Right now it’s the clearest I’ve ever seen the beach,” Wendell Slater said.

Slater was out skateboarding Friday and would love to see beaches re-open only if it’s safe for everyone.

“I think that if it puts people at danger then it shouldn’t be reopened,” Slater said. “Sometimes you just have to wait for a good thing.”

In Escambia County, beaches are closed until further notice. Commissioner Doug Underhill was the only commissioner to vote for re-opening beaches at the last commission meeting.

Matthew LaFon owns Drift and Casino Beach Bar and Grille where they have been doing to-go orders. He agrees with Slater that county leaders should just listen to health experts.

“I think slowly reopening it is the right way to go about it as we can kinda measure and see what happens from the testing and the healthcare professionals..whatever they say and the CDC is exactly what we’re going to do,” LaFon said. “They know way more than we do. We serve food and drinks and they protect all of us.”

In Okaloosa County, commissioner will meet next week. They may re-open beaches with some restrictions. Staff members will present a plan to the commission at its meeting on Tuesday.

In Santa Rosa County, Commissioner Sam Parker hopes to make his argument at a Thursday meeting to partially re-open beaches there.

Unlike Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, Florida Governor Ron Desantis never shut down beaches statewide but left it up to individual cities and counties.


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