* MARCH 31, 2020 * — News update — this article has been revised.
As announced previously, local officials held a discussion March 30, 2020 about Amelia Island’s closed beaches (the participants are listed in news release further below). In the midst of the COVID-19 public health emergency, the beaches won’t reopen anytime soon. When they do at some future time, it will be after careful consideration, putting public safety first.
— article PUBLISHED MARCH 28, 2020 and Nassau County news release follows below. —
Amelia Island’s city and county beachfront closed last weekend amid the COVID-19 public health emergency and CDC guidelines for social distancing and limiting public gatherings.
On Monday, March 30, 2020, a “discussion” about Amelia Island’s beaches will take place, as announced by Nassau County, Florida in a news release issued March 27, 2020.
The County news release indicates that officials from both the city of Fernandina Beach and the County, including those who can offer a medical and enforcement perspective, will participate.
Note the discussion Monday, March 30th, pertains a large section of Amelia Island’s beachfront (around 8 or 9 miles). However, the remaining miles of beachfront is under control of the state of Florida. Thus, excluded from the discussion are several miles of beachfront within Fort Clinch State Park and Amelia Island State Park. These state parks are also closed (and will remain so until Florida State Parks says otherwise).
The Nassau County news release follows:
Nassau County, Florida, March 27, 2020 –On Monday, March 30, 2020, a discussion will be held regarding the beaches within the City and the unincorporated areas of the county. Those participating will be: County Manager/County Attorney, Mike Mullin; Assistant County Manager, Taco Pope; Danny Leeper, Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners; City Manager, Dale Martin; City Commissioner, Dr. Chip Ross; Sheriff Bill Leeper; Emergency Management Director, Greg Foster; and Health Director, Dr. Eugenia Ngo-Seidel.
As many of you know, the beaches were closed on Saturday, March 21, 2020, after portions of the beaches became overcrowded and concerns were expressed about the threat to public health due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We realize that this is a huge inconvenience to the public and we are exploring options to provide some limited access. During Monday’s discussion, the members will share thoughts from both the medical and enforcement aspect of how we can systematically address the beach including thoughts of amending current closure orders. The discussion topics will be provided to the City and County for their separate considerations.
We appreciate your patience as we work through this unprecedented event.
Nassau County, FL Public Information Officer