Sunbathers flocked Thursday to Florida's Cocoa Beach after it reopened to allow chairs and blankets on the sand.
Families were seen laden with backpacks, beach towels and coolers, while friends strode to their bathing suit to look for some vitamin D after lifting restrictions that weren't implemented on April 2.
Cocoa Beach and its neighboring Satellite Beach, which also opened Thursday, require that sun seekers still practice social distance and keep groups up to a few under five.
Both beaches are located in Brevard County, which has more than 220 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 7 reported deaths.
Sunbathers flocked Thursday to Florida's Cocoa Beach after it reopened to allow chairs and blankets on the sand
Families were seen laden with backpacks, beach towels and coolers at the reopened Cocoa Beach
Cocoa Beach and the neighboring Satellite Beach, which also opened Thursday, require that sun seekers still practice social distance
The beaches are located halfway between Florida's two largest cities – Miami and Jacksonville – both of which treat the coronavirus outbreak very differently
Miami, 200 miles to the south, has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with nearly 15,000 confirmed cases in the area. The city's famous beaches remained closed for years to come.
However, in Jacksonville, 200 miles north of Cocoa Beach, beaches were reopened last Friday.
Despite being the largest city in Florida, Jacksonville has recorded only 909 cases of coronavirus – about 4% of & # 39; total cases of & # 39; e state.
Those statistics prompted officials to reopen the beaches from 6- 11 a.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. for residents to run, swim and fish.
However, sunbating at Jacksonville beaches is still prohibited.
One sun seeker was pleased to be able to open her chair on Cocoa Beach on Thursday
One Floridian was seen taking precautions when she ran across the sand of Cocoa Beach – with a protective cover over her face
Groups of beach goers keep a social distance between each other at Cocoa Beach
A lifeguard on Thursday kept a watchful eye on Cocoa Beach. Searchers generally sought social distance guidelines in order to spend time on the sand
Beaches that haven't opened or are set to open in Florida
According to the following list compiled by the Miami Herald, the following beaches that were closed are now open or scheduled to reopen in Florida, with changing time and activity restrictions:
- Flagler County on the & # 39; East Coast of & # 39; e Florida reopened for limited recreational activities on Wednesday, NBC 6 reports.
- Bay County beaches in Florida's Panhandle will open Friday, April 24, with limited hours from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.-8 p.m., reported WJHG 7. Bay County includes Panama City Beach, a popular spot for spring breakers.
- Gulf County beaches open at 5 p.m. Wednesday with the same hours as neighbor Bay County will be enforcing.
- Okaloosa County will open its beaches on May 1 from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. It is the home of Destin, a popular seaside resort.
- Satellite Beach and Cocoa Beach in Brevard County are open with social distance rules intact, Florida Today reports.
Despite being banned in the sun, photos showing scores of residents showing down on Jacksonville beaches scared off and prompted the hashtag #FloridaMorons to trend on social media.
& # 39; Can't this whole state be spatial distance? #FloridaMoron, & # 39; twitter one user.
Another person wrote: & # 39; Life is a beach – then you die. #FloridaMoron. & # 39;
A third user tweeted: & # 39; I understand the pressure to get back to work. We all have to pay bills. I don’t get the distance to the beaches at a distance in some kind of childish own-the-life hissy fit. In particular, participating in this behavior gives you the opportunity to work back. #FloridaMoron. & # 39;
While Myrtle Beach in South Carolina has also reopened to sunbathing, most beaches in coastal states remained closed amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Drone footage recorded on Thursday shows miles of low sand along the beaches of Ocean City, Maryland.
The city will close its beaches and boardwalks on March 22, and have no immediate plans to reopen them.
In the country, more than 850,000 Americans have tested positive for COVID-19, and more than 40,000 have died.
Scores of residents descending on Jacksonville beaches caused a nuisance and prompted the hashtag #FloridaMorons to trend on social media. Busy Jacksonville Beach was filmed Sunday
Different state, different story! Drone footage recorded Thursday shows miles of low sand along the beaches of Ocean City, Maryland
Ocean City will close its beaches and boardwalks on March 22, and have no immediate plans to reopen them
A low water park in Ocean City, Maryland, is pictured