Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

Miami Beach mayor declares emergency as 'wall-to-wall' crowds descend on city, sparking virus fears

Miami Beach, Florida, Mayor Dan Gelber on Saturday declared a state of emergency, set an 8 p.m. curfew, and closed roads in the entertainment district as large crowds arrived in the city, sparking fears of another coronavirus surge.

Law enforcement officials said people flocked to Miami Beach because they were looking for a place with fewer pandemic restrictions — Florida reopened earlier than most states — but city leadership thinks it's gone too far, The New York Times reports.

"Too many people are coming, really, without the intention of following the rules, and the result has been a level of chaos and disorder that is just something more than we can endure," Gelber told CNN, adding that at night the city "feels like a rock concert, wall-to-wall people over blocks and blocks." Raul Aguila, the interim city manager, said "you couldn't see pavement, you couldn't see grass."

Police said early Sunday that they arrested "at least a dozen" people after the curfew started.

The curfew and road closures will be in affect for 72 hours. Read more at CNN and The New York Times.