Pleasure Craft Out in Force in Florida as State Ramps Up Its Coronavirus Response

Local governments in Florida have been moving to close access to beaches and give themselves special powers to react to the coronavirus as the number of cases in the state climbed past 1,000, with 14 deaths.

Gov Rick DeSantis had refused to close all the state’s beaches, leading to the response at local level, including in St Petersburg, where many were seen out enjoying the water on March 22.

Michael McCarthy, who runs the See Through Canoe company, shot this aerial footage. He said on YouTube that “many people all over Florida seem to be treating the coronavirus as a vacation and an excuse to party.”

“Anybody with something that floats is out on the water,” McCarthy told Storyful. “Many people in Florida do not seem to be taking the virus seriously.”

As Florida ramped up its response to the pandemic, it was announced that all state parks would close from Monday, March 23. Credit: Michael McCarthy via Storyful