May 4, 2020
PINELLAS COUNTY, Fl— Pinellas County beaches officially reopened to the public this morning at 7 a.m.
Groups will be limited to no more than 10 people and social distancing must be maintained.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtierie said there will be more than 250 deputies present from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day from Tarpon Springs down to Fort Desoto. Gualtieri said there are 213 beach access points and they will all be monitored by a uniformed deputy.
There will be additional foot patrol on the beaches, Gualtieri added, and an additional 30 or more deputies on ATVs patrolling the beaches. In addition to land patrol, law enforcement is going to have nine marine unit boats on the water to patrol the intercoastal waterways and the Gulf of Mexico with special attention to Clearwater pass and Johns Pass. They will also have regular helicopter patrols to help gauge beach density and compliance.
There will be more than 1,000 signs posted to remind of the social distancing requirements.
Gualtieri said anyone not following the rules will be asked to leave the beach.
“We’re going to have an unprecedented number of law enforcement officers to make sure everyone is safe, healthy and has a great time on the Pinellas beaches as we reopen the beaches and businesses within the beach community,” he said.
Sheriff Gualtieri said enforcement will continue at least through Mother’s Day weekend.