FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. — Fort Myers Beach was packed with people, as they celebrated the Memorial day weekend.
It is the first major holiday since the reopening of Florida, and county officials say this will be a test of beachgoers’ ability to follow the rules and regulations.
Maria Cintron is from new jersey and traveled to Southwest Florida over a month ago, with hopes to escape the height of the pandemic.
“Over there it is like no, we can’t go outside we can’t do anything, nothings open,” said Cintron.
“We actually took the test before we came over here and we were negative, so we quarantined and followed the rules and now we’re just enjoying ourselves, ” said Maria Cintron.
Hundreds of people were enjoying the fresh air on Fort Myers beach.
“There's a lot go people out here, but if you look on the beach there is kind of six feet between everybody, ” said Karan Wolfe.
For many people at the beach, the current COVID-19 pandemic seemed like a thing of the past.
“It is just such a blessing not to see everybody in mask and gloves, ” said Julie Torres.
Frank Torres says he’s happy to see the crowds because it brings a sense of normalcy and money back into the hands of hospitality workers who need it the most.
“These girls were working, making money, a lot of them can’t even pay their rent. I felt bad about that but I’m glad that we’re getting back to normal and helping them get back on their feet, ” said Frank Torres.
The manager of Sunset Beach Tropical Grill says the holiday weekend brought some much-needed customers.
“This past weekend was extremely busy, Friday Saturday, Sunday, ” said Elie Rizk.
Fort Myers Beach now becoming a hotspot for neighboring counties.
“It is people from Miami-Dade county, Broward county they’ve been coming down here, Naples beach is closed so people are coming to Fort Myers Beach, ” said Rizk.
Lee County Sheriffs’ patrolled beaches encouraging everyone to follow CDC guidelines.