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Beaches in Jacksonville, Florida, will begin reopening this evening - with restrictions.
At 5pm tonight, local time, beaches in the city will reopen 'with restrictions for essential activities only'.
Mayor Lenny Curry said: "This can be the beginning of the pathway back to normal life. Please respect and follow these limitations. Stay within the guidelines for your safety as well as for the safety of your neighbours."
According to News 4 Jax, the 'essential activities' include taking part in recreational activities consistent with social distancing guidelines, such as walking, running, swimming, fishing, dog walking and surfing.
The City of Jacksonville Twitter account posted to stress the beaches were for exercise only, adding 'no chairs, coolers, sunbathing, or towels/blankets laid out to sit on'.
We remain under a State and local safer at home order. Limited access to beaches/ parks is for recreational activities only. No chairs, coolers, sitting/groups congregating. Public safety workers will break up groups. Use these spaces responsibly. Don't ruin this for everyone https://t.co/eiZZpGVhNP
- Lenny Curry (@lennycurry) April 17, 2020
The beaches will be open from 6am to 11am every morning and from 5pm to 8pm in the evening - they will be closed all other times.
Beaches have been closed in Jacksonville since 20 March.
The decision to reopen the beaches has had a mixed response, with one resident telling News 4 Jax: "We just moved here from Texas and haven't been able to enjoy the beaches yet so we're really looking forward to being able to get out there and walk and pick up seashells.
"I just hope that people are respectful and do what they're supposed to so they don't take it back away."
However, another slammed the move, telling ABC News: "This is really a crazy bad idea.
"I'm afraid. I'm afraid for myself. I'm afraid for my family. Everybody should use their common sense."
Florida has more than 23,300 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 668 deaths.
The decision to reopen the parks comes after US President Donald Trump unveiled guidance for a phased reopening of the country's economy, in which he ultimately left the final decisions to governors.
According to The Washington Post, Trump told governors via phone call that they would 'call their own shots'.
Speaking during a press conference he said: "As I have said for some time now, a national shutdown is not a sustainable long-term solution.
"To preserve the health of our citizens, we must also preserve the health and functioning of our economy."
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