Beach News Update May 4, 2020
With the changing status of Amelia Island beaches due to the coronavirus pandemic, as of 5/4/2020, nearly all of Amelia Island’s beachfront has reopened (with the exception of Fort Clinch State Park’s shoreline). This article has been revised to reflect that the city of Fernandina Beach has reopened their beachfront on May 4, 2020. Amelia Island State Park’s beachfront also reopened on May 4, 2020. Nassau County’s beachfront on Amelia Island opened a few days earlier on Friday, May 1, 2020. Also note at this time, NO BEACH DRIVING and parking on the sand is allowed at any of Amelia Island’s beachfront, including Amelia Island State Park.
Also see related article, “Opening Dates Set For Amelia Island’s County & City Beaches,” published April 29, 2020.
Also see related article, “Amelia Island State Park Opening May 4, 2020.”
(Original article as published on March 21, 2020, when the beaches were first closed, follows below.)
Amelia Island Beaches Officially Closed March 21, 2020
First, Florida State Parks closed down Fort Clinch and Amelia Island State Park. Then Fernandina closed its city beaches. Hours later, Nassau County’s Executive Order No. 2 closed the remaining beachfront on Amelia Island effective at 6 AM, Sunday, March 22, 2020.
Nassau County Executive Orders
Nassau County issued two executive orders March 21, 2020. The first, Executive Order No. 1, (announced at 12:45 p.m.), was a temporary ban of vehicles on the beaches in the unincorporated area of Nassau County, plus several other new beach restrictions. However, Executive Order No. 2, issued a few hours later, completely closed Nassau County’s beaches.
Executive Order No. 2
Executive Order No. 2 (read full text at Nassau County’s website), effective as of 6 a.m. on Sunday, March 22, 2020, closes the beaches in the unincorporated are of Nassau County. The beaches will stay closed until Executive Order No. 2 expires “at the expiration of the declaration of local state of emergency.”
Nassau County’s Biggest Beach Parks
The largest Amelia Island beach parks located in Nassau County’s unincorporated area are Peters Point and American Beach.
Two days ago, a visit to Peters Point beach on Thursday, March 19, 2020, found an electronic sign (pictured above), placed near the beach entrance. It displayed a message reminding beach goers about social distancing CDC guidelines. Earlier today, officers were monitoring the beaches and checking for Nassau County residency and/or beach driving permits, at the entry lane to drive onto the beach. (Anyone who is not a Nassau County, FL resident requires a permit to drive onto the beach and park.)
Fernandina’s City Beaches
Just yesterday, March 20, 2020, the city of Fernandina had prohibited vehicles on the beach at Seaside Park (Sadler Road next to Sliders). However, this afternoon, March 21, 2020, the city of Fernandina announced its beaches were closing to public (effective at 5 pm, Saturday, March 21, 2020).
State Parks Closed
Also, Florida State Parks closed Amelia Island State Park and Fort Clinch State Park (see related article), effective Sat. March, 21, 2020.