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Franklin County votes to close beaches for one week

Commissioners called for emergency meeting Sunday
St. George Island State Park
Posted at 3:41 PM, Mar 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-22 17:02:40-04

FRANKLIN COUNTY, FL (WTXL) - — Franklin County beaches are officially closed for the next week.

Franklin County commissioners met Sunday for another emergency session. The county determined "gatherings on the beach are a threat to public health, safety and welfare and are likely to lead to the spread of the COVID-19 virus." The hope is that this ordinance stops the spread of the virus.

This new ordinance repeals Saturday's restrictions, while only closed parking access to beaches.

The ban starts at midnight Sunday until Friday at sunset.

Commissioners met for an emergency meeting Saturday morning where they first decided on the closures. Franklin Commissioner Bert Boldt said people drew concerns of tourists flocking to the area since other beaches are closed.

"Other beaches to the west of us have been closed. We feel there could be a surge of visitors we normally don't expect coming into our beaches," he said Saturday. "We wanted to limit access relative to this entire infectious disease to the residents that are there on the beaches and to those rental facilities that are typically individual residences as well. It was a balanced decision."

If you get caught, you could face a second-degree misdemeanor or a fine up to $500.