PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Thursday evening the Panama City Beach City council along with the Panama City Beach Police Department decided to close a mile of the beaches from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Specifically, from the Ocean Ritz Condos to the Boardwalk Beach resort.
The decision comes after groups of teenagers were found on the beach not practicing social distancing guidelines.
Panama City Beach Police Chief Drew Whitman expressed that the threat of COVID-19 community spread is not only dangerous for younger crowds, but also dangerous for officers that must break up the crowds.
“It’s extremely dangerous for my officers to try and get down there and break up the crowds, but the younger generations are way closer than six feet apart and not practicing social distancing,” said Whitman.
The tentative date for beaches to reopen during those times is August 13.
Whitman also said that while the goal is to educate the younger generation about proper CDC guidelines and stopping the spread, the offense could result in a citation as high as $500 as well as arrest.