A popular Miami Beach green space was reportedly closed Monday — five days after reopening — because nearly 9,000 people were caught violating the park’s mask policy.
South Pointe Park had initially opened back up Wednesday, along with other green spaces in Miami-Dade County, after being closed for over six weeks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
With the reopening, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez ordered parkgoers to wear facial coverings, a policy largely ignored by those at South Pointe Park.
From Wednesday to Sunday, park rangers issued 8,880 verbal warnings to people at South Pointe Park for going maskless, according to the Miami Herald, citing police.
The majority of those warnings — 5,261 — occurred over the weekend — even after the city closed the parking lot Sunday in an effort to control the crowds.
City Manager Jimmy Morales told the paper in a statement that other city parks reopened successfully, but South Pointe Park “is the most egregious exception.”
“We have had city staff in the park to encourage people to comply, but they were met with hostility and non-compliance,” he said.
“There is no way to effectively enforce social distancing when hundreds of individuals refuse to do so. The best way to protect our residents and first responders is to keep it closed until further notice.”