The Beach is Closed


I respect the Lee County & Fort Myers Beach decisions to close our beaches to commercial activity and large gatherings in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. However, is it necessary to threaten solo beach walkers with a $5000 fine? Please clarify, in the Sand Paper, the policy for beach walking in the city of Fort Myers Beach. Mayor Cereceda noted when making the beach closing proclamation “walking in small groups would be permitted.” On television yesterday (3/23) Governor DeSantis stated (to paraphrase) that mothers and daughters could walk on the beach, large groups eating Jell-O shots off navels was forbidden. Those of us who have been forced off the beaches are now walking elbow to elbow on overcrowded sidewalks. A single person  or very small groups of people walking 6 feet apart on the beach are abiding by medical guidelines while getting fresh air and exercise. Thank you.


Clare Engberg
Fort Myers Beach


Editor’s Note:  THE FORT MYERS BEACH BEACH IS COMPLETELY CLOSED. No one is to be on the sandy beach for any reason. The Town Council made that decision on March 19, 2020, with Lee County closing their beach parks on the same day. The Town of FMB is actively patrolling the beach. Anyone found on the beach will be subject to a $5,000 fine. See our online story, “Town Closes Its Beaches” for details.

While Governor DeSantis has chosen NOT to order all Florida beaches closed, Lee County and FMB beaches are very definitely closed.

COVID-19 has forced most of us to make sacrifices for the health and safety of our community. If the only sacrifice someone makes is to change where or when a walk is taken, they should consider themselves very lucky.