Panama Metropolis Seashore officers voted Friday to shut their seashores starting at 7 p.m., changing into one of many final cities in Florida to shutter its shores amid the coronavirus pandemic after the governor refused to take action.
Whereas Panama City Beach’s chamber of commerce declared Thursday that seashores there weren’t closed, and the city was “open for enterprise,” many residents pushed back, prompting town council to schedule an emergency assembly for Friday afternoon.
The council voted unanimously to shut the seashores for not less than per week. Metropolis spokeswoman Debbie Ward advised NBC Information that Bay County, the place Panama Seashore Metropolis is positioned, is anticipated order all seashores closed later Friday.
Throughout Friday’s metropolis council assembly, some residents appealed to maintain the seashores open to assist flailing companies. Panama Metropolis Seashore’s major supply of revenue is tourism.
Others stated it was an enormous threat to public well being to maintain the seashores and different gathering locations open.
Mayor Mike Thomas stated throughout the assembly that the council had been urging him to decide on the seashores for the reason that starting of the week.
“It has been me primarily holding it up, and if I may, I’d maintain it up some extra, I might — however apparently I can’t,” Thomas stated. “So don’t blame them, blame me for this delay, and one in every of as of late, we’ll see who was proper.”
He stated Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision Tuesday, at the height of spring break rush, not to order the beaches closed was an “alternative” for Panama Metropolis Seashore.
“We’ve received 9 miles of seashore … loads of room for individuals to unfold out,” Thomas argued, including that photos of beachgoers clustered in teams of dozens got here from the identical yearly packed “quarter-mile stretch of seashore.”
However he stated: “This can be a horrible illness that we now have received to cease, and I’ll vote…