Starting Thursday night, Fort Myers Beach will be closed to all visitors to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Fort Myers Beach now joins a list of other beaches in Southwest Florida that have shut off access.
The mayor of Fort Myers Beach told WINK News this move was made to protect the public’s safety and that it needed to be done.
All county-owned beaches and the pier will be closed down starting at 6 p.m. Thursday and will last through April 21.
Fort Myers Beach announced Thursday evening that the beach would be totally shut down. No one is permitted to walk, jog or just go on the beach.
They are telling spring breakers to just stay home.
In addition, all town events and public gatherings of any type with more than 10 people are canceled.
All restaurants should follow the guidelines of the governor.
All residents and visitors must comply and the rules will be strictly enforced. Any violation may be punished with a fine up to $5,000.
Down in Collier County, you will see the same thing with access to beaches cut off. The beach transit is shut down as well.
This took effect Wednesday night and will last through the end of the month.
Beachgoers are disappointed but say they understand the decision.
“It’s hard for this area because tourism is at its height right now. It’s like a bad time for this area. I know that, but it’s a protective measure,” said Cape Coral resident Laurie Sulzbach.
To enforce the ban, Lee County says they are working with local agencies. As for Collier County, leaders say they are confident the community will comply with the rules.
In Charlotte County, it was announced Friday morning that all beaches would be closed beginning Sunday at 6 a.m.
The closure affects Englewood Beach and Port Charlotte Beach.