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Collier County to discuss beach safety measures for 4th of July weekend

Posted at 7:32 PM, Jun 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-29 19:32:55-04

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. — In anticipation of the 4th of July weekend, some Florida counties have announced beaches will be closing once again.

These announcements come following record-breaking numbers of new Coronavirus cases in Florida.

Locally, Lee County says it has "no plans" to close beaches during Independence Day weekend, but Collier County is discussing options.

Collier County Commissioner, Penny Taylor, says the big concern for Collier County is that people from out of town might flock to its beaches — with beaches in Broward and Miami-Dade counties being closed.

"I think that is going to be the key issue driving us to close our beaches or at least stagger the hours, so it's not so attractive to drive over here," said Commissioner Taylor.

People coming from out of town is a concern for some people who live in Naples.

"I think they're going to have to restrict it somehow because otherwise, people are going to flood here," said Todd Speicher of Naples.

Commissioner Taylor says other options include restricting parking to beach stickers only.

Collier County and the City of Naples implemented similar restrictions back in May after people failed to social distance and a high number of out of town visitors were observed on the beaches.

"There were constituents buying bottles of wine and champagne and taking them on the beaches and things like that, it was just a free for all that thank goodness was closed down," said Commissioner Taylor.

While most people at the beach on Monday agreed beaches should stay open on 4th of July weekend, there were mixed feelings on what restrictions should be put in place.

"I feel like the beaches should stay open but perhaps monitor the parking passes for those who live here, instead of those from out of town," said Keri Speicher.

Collier County Board of Commissioners will meet Tuesday morning to decide on what steps to take.

"I think if people respect one another and social distance, I think it's fine," said Rob Sage.

The City of Naples and Marco Island say they will be making a decision Tuesday, following the Collier County Commissioners' meeting.