Spring break 2021: 100 arrested as crowds flock to Miami Beach despite pandemic

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — Despite an increased police presence, bans on open alcohol containers, curfews and capacity limits on the beach, spring breakers are flocking in droves to South Florida, leading to the arrest of more than 100 revelers.

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“We’ve got too many people coming, we’ve got too many people acting out and we have COVID at the same time, so it’s a triple threat,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber told WFOR. “If you’re coming here to disrupt, then it’s not worth the money to us. It’s not worth the revenue. You cannot pay our community to endure the kind of inappropriate and improper conduct that we’ve been seeing.”

On Friday, dozens of people were arrested on charges ranging from fighting to dancing on police cars, WPLG reported. Two officers were injured when crowds started to throw objects at them. They are expected to be OK, WFOR reported.

“What happened was a large crowd gathered. At some point in time, there were people that went ahead and walked into the crowd, started throwing up money into the air, causing a larger crowd to gather,” Miami Beach Police Chief Rick Clements told WFOR.

On Saturday, more than 30 people were arrested, CBS News reported. Overall, Clements said the crowds have behaved.

“If you’re coming here because you think anything goes, you’re going to have a terrible time. We’re going to arrest you. We’ve made hundreds and hundreds of arrests,” Gelber said.

Authorities have arrested more than 100 people, seized 13 guns and issued more than 900 citations, WFOR reported.

There is no statewide mask mandate in Florida. Gov. Ron DeSantis has also declared that authorities can not impose fines on people who violate mask ordinances. The city of Miami Beach extended its emergency measures March 10 in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which includes a midnight curfew through March 17.

The Florida Department of Health reported an increase in coronavirus cases in the last five days, with the majority of the new cases in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, CNN reported.

“I think what we see happening now is, there are not a lot of other destinations that are open, or they’re cold, and the plane fares are very, very cheap ... so we’re getting a whole lot of people coming here,” Gelber told CBS News. “It doesn’t look like enough of them seem to even know that there is a pandemic.”

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