Okaloosa County reopens public beaches, other counties to decide within week

Local News

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Okaloosa County commissioners voted Tuesday to reopen public beaches for limited hours starting May 1 and other local counties are set to discuss reopening beaches within the next week.

“I really think that’s just unacceptable,” Escambia County Commissioner Doug Underhill said.

Underhill was referring to the fact they are waiting until April 28 for a special meeting to discuss reopening public beaches in Escambia County. Underhill was the only commissioner to vote to reopen beaches at the last meeting in early April.

“There are working-class citizens in my district that are suffering greatly because the government has overreached on all these closures, and it’s time now and it’s clearer that it’s safe for us to go ahead and start doing some incremental opening with just managing some of the social distancing,” Underhill said.

A protest is scheduled for that same morning at 9:30 a.m. as people plan to demand the reopening of the beaches.

“I think they oughta be open with limitations,” one man said.

Okaloosa County public beaches will be open every day from 6:30-9 a.m. then again from 4:30-7 p.m.

“Well I agree with reopening them..not totally, okay, but for purposes of exercise and sporting events and especially surfing,” another Okaloosa County resident said.

In Santa Rosa County, the commission will meet Thursday to talk about possibly reopening Navarre Beach.

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