Open Ocean

By: Caitlyn Gillette (Business Manager)
Starting March 29th, St. Johns County made the decision to close all beaches due to the current pandemic. On April 18th, St. Johns County reopened the beaches for the first time since the pandemic began due to strong backlash from its residents.
Photo Credit: The Ponte Vedra Recorder

There were many restrictions in place in order to keep everybody safe. The beaches were only open from 6 a.m. to noon, seven days a week, and only physical activity was allowed.  Towels, blankets, coolers, umbrellas, grills, sunbathing, and chairs were not allowed and social distancing restrictions were applied. Deputies patrolled the beach to enforce the rules set in place. 

Starting May 4th, St. Johns County officials made the decision to completely reopen the beaches, withdrawing most of the previous restrictions. The only restrictions that are still in place is on-beach driving and social distancing restrictions. Beach hours were returned to normal and people are allowed to bring coolers, towels, and chairs like normal. On May 11th the restrictions for on-beach driving were lifted as well. The normal fees will be enforced. All annual passes purchased before the restriction was put in place will be extended through the 2021 beach season.