City closes a stretch of beach on east end between 10 p.m.-5 a.m.
The Panama City Beach City Council approved an emergency ordinance Thursday night which temporarily closes a portion of the sandy beach between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. The section of beach being closed overnight until August 13 is on the east end of the beach on Thomas Drive, from Beach Access 35 to east of the Boardwalk.
The City took the action because large crowds have been gathering in the area overnight, increasing the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Police have been stationed in that area as 300 or more young people have gathered on the beach nightly without any social distancing. Some of the people in these "pop-up events" have engaged in criminal activity, have trespassed on other's property and are loud. The City Council took this action to safeguard residents and visitors.
Violators not following the ordinance can be fined up to $500 and/or receive 30 days in jail.
Due to an increase in COVID-19 cases, the City also canceled the Summer Concert Series and will not open the Aquatic Center for open swimming. The kid's pool will also remain closed.
Public Information Officer Debbie Ward can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.