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A lack of social distancing closes Naples beaches 10 days after reopening

The changes took effect at 12:01 a.m. Sunday and is in place until further notice.

NAPLES, Fla. — Ten days after reopening its beaches, one southwest Florida city is closing them back down.

The reason? Naples leaders have concerns over beachgoers not social distancing and how that could help contribute to the spread of the coronavirus.

In a release, the city wrote, "In an effort to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and alignment with CDC guidance and Governor DeSantis’s Executive Order 20-112, the City of Naples will be closing all public beaches within city limits."

The changes took effect at 12:01 a.m. Sunday, May 10, and is in place until further notice. 

Beach accesses, beach restroom facilities, parking areas, the Pier, Lowdermilk Park and walkways also are affected by the closure.

Speaking to WINK-TV, people who live in the area expressed their concerns over the crowds.

“There was literally like people everywhere,” Ellanda Francois said. “We didn’t even know where to sit. It was crazy.” 

“No social distancing at all,” Jim Rahner said. “No masks.” 

It's disappointment shared by Naples Councilman Gary Price, telling WINK, he was disappointed and concerned by what he saw at the beaches, calling the city manager about how to take back control over the beaches. 

“We really wanted to make sure that people were safe,” Price said. “And what I saw today is what I believe to be really not safe.”

City council is set to hold an emergency meeting on the closures at 1 p.m. Monday, May 9. 

RELATED: Beaches fill up quickly on first weekend back open

RELATED: Littering beaches still happening days after reopening, volunteer groups can't do much to help

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