MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — Miami Beach officials have imposed an emergency 8 p.m.-6 a.m. curfew, saying large, out-of-control spring break crowds crammed the beaches, trashed some restaurant properties and brawled in the streets.
Tourists and hotel guests are being told to stay indoors during the curfew hours.
The curfew began Saturday night and encompasses Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue, Washington Avenue and Espanola Way from Fifth to 16th streets.
Bridges leading into the city were also closed from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m., NBC affiliate WTVJ reported. Police were only allowing residents, hotel guests or employees of Miami Beach businesses to cross.
Images from our closure at the Julia Tuttle E/B entrance at Alton Road. Screening for residents, workers and hotel guests. pic.twitter.com/d1BB4xnAT5— Paul Acosta 🇺🇸🇵🇷 (@PaulAcostaMBPD) March 21, 2021
Police used pepper balls to disperse the crowd once curfew took effect, WPLG reported, leading to a brief stampede.
It's unclear how long the curfew will remain in effect, but interim City Manager Raul Aguila told the Miami Herald that he recommends keeping it in place through April 12 or the end of spring break.
A countywide midnight curfew is already in place due to COVID-19.