Miami Beach extends emergency curfew as spring break crowds lead to arrests, violence

miami baech spring break
Police detaining a person while enforcing the new Miami Beach, Florida curfew on March 20.

  • Miami Beach, Florida extended its curfew in the city’s South Beach entertainment district until April 12.
  • An 8 p.m. curfew and limited causeway access into the city will go into effect from Thursdays through Sundays.
  • Miami Beach’s spring break crowds have become increasingly rowdy, leading to violence and arrests.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Miami Beach, Florida has extended its 8 p.m. curfew in a bustling part of the city until April 12 as the hot destination continues to see an influx of travelers “disregarding the law” during this year’s spring break season, the Miami Herald reported.

Local city officials have been concerned about spring break travelers for several weeks now, and the city initially implemented several safety protocols ahead of this “high impact period.”

“If you are coming here with an anything-goes party attitude, change your flight reservation now and go to Vegas,” Raul Aguila, Miami Beach’s city manager previously said during a city council meeting before the travel surge, The Wall Street Journal reported. “Miami Beach is not going to tolerate anarchy.

However, it seems like “anarchy” is exactly what’s now unfolding. Videos and images from Miami Beach have shown packs of people without face masks or social distancing. These crowds have also “demonstrated a disregard for the rule of law,” resulting in fights, injuries, and property damage, according to the city’s state of emergency declaration.

As a result, over the last few days, Miami Beach police officers have shot pepper balls into crowds and arrested more than 100 people, all in an attempt to curb a rowdy spring break group that has descended upon the warm-weather destination.

“I have personally had trouble even sleeping at night, worrying about what’s going to happen in the city,” Dan Gelber, mayor of Miami Beach, said, according to the Washington Post.

In response to this, during an emergency meeting on Sunday, the city approved an extension on both its 8 p.m. curfew in the South Beach entertainment district and decreased causeway access to Miami Beach. These protocols will be implemented from Thursday through Sunday until the end of spring break, April 12, the Miami Herald reported.

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“This is a spring break like no other,” Aguila said, according to a report from NBC News.

The city has attributed this surge of spring break visitors to three areas: reduced flight, hotel, and rental costs. In Miami specifically, hotels have been looking at 90% occupancy rates for Thursday-through-Sunday stays through the spring break season, Wendy Kallergis, president and CEO of the Greater Miami and the Beaches Hotel Association, told Insider earlier this month.

As a result, Jan Freitag – the national director for hospitality market analytics at STR, a hospitality data and analytics group – predicted that Miami, and all of South Florida, will be doing “quite well” during the spring break travel season into the impending summer travel boom.

“I believe it’s a lot of pent-up demand from the pandemic and people wanting to get out,” David Richardson, a Miami Beach City Commission member, said, the New York Times reported. “And our state has been publicly advertised as being open, so that’s contributing to the issue.”

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