Collier County commissioners vote to restrict weekend beach hours

Collier County commissioners decided Tuesday to make some changes to beach hours in the county to keep in line with what Naples city leaders are doing.

County beach park hours will remain the same Monday through Friday but will be limited on the weekends.

The county beaches will be open for two blocks on Saturdays and Sundays: 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to sunset. The beaches will be closed between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Parking is limited to Collier County residents with stickers on Saturdays and Sundays, as well as all of Memorial Day weekend.

MORE: Naples reopens beaches with restrictions after emergency shutdown

There will be no restrictions on the beaches when they’re open, so people can bring chairs, coolers, etc.

“It’s a lot easier to have some rules in place at the beginning than to ask 1,300 people to social distance on the beach,” said Commissioner Penny Taylor.

The county is cracking down after overcrowding on the beaches this past weekend, with a lot of beachgoers having traveled from the East Coast, where beaches remain closed.

“We had to close the garage four times, including a 4 p.m. closure … meaning it’s full. and that’s unusual,” Taylor said.

Some like Gary Indermuehle are just thankful the new rules are less strict than what the City of Naples put into place on Monday and e can still bring his gear to the beach.

“I’d be dying if I couldn’t have my umbrella today; I’d be frying,” he said.

PDF DOWNLOAD: Collier County executive order on beach access

Commissioner Bill McDaniel voted against more restrictions, pointing out that the Collier County Sheriff’s Office called the social distancing “manageable” this past weekend.

“These are public properties and should be accessible to everybody all the time,” he said.

Reporter:Gina Tomlinson
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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