By Christopher J. Russo, City Manager
(June 2, 2020) – The reopening of the beach has been postponed by Miami-Dade County and will remain closed until County Mayor Carlos Gimenez lifts the nightly curfew. That being said, the City is still preparing for the beach to safely reopen to the public. We are in especially troubling times, so following the set guidelines is imperative. We have all seen some of the worst-case-scenario stories on the news about other beaches reopening to hordes of people ignoring social distancing guidelines and crowding together. To ensure that does not happen in our city, we will be strictly following and enforcing the operating guidelines set forth by Miami-Dade County.
The beach will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. You will not be required to wear a mask on the beach if you are able to keep a proper social distance of six feet from other individuals, however beach goers must have a facial covering ready to use at all times and show upon request by a City or County staff member. The magic number here is six. If you cannot achieve social distancing of six feet, except with members of the same household and when in the water, then you must wear a facial covering. This is concurrent with facial covering and social distancing regulations for public places in Miami-Dade County. It is important to note that wet facial coverings are ineffective, and we encourage you to bring an additional clean and dry replacement covering.
Most typical beach activities will be permitted as long as you maintain social distance and gather with no more than 10 people. Walking, jogging, and swimming are all permitted as long as six feet of social distance between people of different households is maintained. Sunbathing is also permitted, however when setting up your own beach chair or towel, you must be a minimum of six feet apart from anyone in a different household.
Condos and hotels will be allowed to set up their own beach chairs and concessions for residents and guests, but with some new requirements. Distancing of at least six feet must be kept between patrons not of the same household, towels must be changed after each guest use and sent for laundering, and furnishings must be cleaned and disinfected after each guest use.
There are some activities that will not be permitted on the beach. No group greater than 10 may congregate and different households may not share equipment. You will not be allowed to set up canopies or tents, and all organized or group activities involving groups of two or more are prohibited. No special events or group picnics will be permitted and, as always, no fishing and no dogs or pets are allowed on the beach.
Under the current state, beach goers must be mindful of the increased risks associated with rescue and resuscitation, to both the patron in distress and those that may try to assist them. Ocean Rescue will continue their regular schedule to guard the beach from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and like every trip to the beach, you are urged to exercise caution when in the water.
When the County reopens the beach, we will also be reopening the Newport Fishing Pier with adjusted hours from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily. Samson Oceanfront Park hours will also be extended to 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. to accommodate the beach hours. The Pier will have delineated fishing spots 10 feet apart from each other and Samson Oceanfront Park will remain open only to Sunny Isles Beach residents, except those passing through to the beach. Additionally, the restrooms at the Pier, Samson Oceanfront Park, and the Trump I and Bill Lone beach accesses will be open, with facial coverings required inside.
You can read the complete guidelines for the beach and pool reopenings on our website at sibfl.net/reopening and the County’s website, miamidade.gov. We expect all residents to respect their neighbors and family members by adhering to County and City guidelines. Our lifeguards, police, code officers and County staff will be enforcing all County guidelines to keep our community safe. Remember that if you do not follow these guidelines, we are at risk of the County closing the beach. The success of these reopenings relies on the shared responsibility of us all. As summer begins, we all want to have fun, but remember it is also important to stay safe.