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Around 100 people arrested in Miami Beach as spring breakers gather despite pandemic

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Posted at 4:57 PM, Mar 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-15 16:59:56-04

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — About 100 people were reportedly arrested in Miami Beach over the weekend as spring break crowds gathered in the popular vacation spot despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

A spokeswoman for the city told CNN that some of those arrested are facing weapons and drug charges. She added that these issues are common around spring break, but COVID-19 protocols have made policing the crowds more difficult.

WPLG reports that officers with the Miami Beach Police Department are working 12-hour shifts to manage the unruly crowds.

Some visitors got out of control Friday night and police responded with force.

In a tweet, police said they were forced to utilize pepper balls to disperse members of a large crowd that was “disorderly and surrounding officers.” During the incident, police said two officers were injured and transported an area hospital.

And on Saturday, police said they made 30 arrests while patrolling South Beach.

CNN spoke with Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, who said the city’s got a problem with too many people coming there to “let loose.”

In an interview with WFOR, Gelber urged vacationers not to visit if they think they can get away with anything.

“If you’re coming here because you think anything goes, you’re going to have a terrible time. We’re going to arrest you. We’ve made hundreds and hundreds of arrests,” Gelber said.

In his state of the city address on Monday, Gelber said some places in the city are not safe at times, specifically South Beach. He added that the city’s “entertainment district must go” and he believes it should be replaced with a “true art deco cultural district.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is continuing to urge Americans not to travel, including for spring break. Still, many people will still take trips to places like Florida. For those people, the CDC has released tips to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.