- Beaches in Jacksonville opened to the public at 5pm on Friday and beachgoers flooded the shore
- Thousands of people were seen on the beach within 26 minutes of the beach opening
- Socially distanced activities such as walking and biking will be permitted – but sunbathing has been banned
- Many slammed the decision with coronavirus cases still rising in the state, but others welcomed the move
- Santa Cruz in California also reopened its beaches to allow surfing for the first time since the lockdown
Crowds of beachgoers have charged on to the beaches in Jacksonville, Florida after the shores reopened to the public despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Jacksonville beaches reopened at 5pm on Friday under limited hours and use restrictions, even as Florida recorded its highest single-day increase in confirmed coronavirus cases.
Photos and video from the scene show enthusiastic residents cheering as they ran out onto the sand after weeks of closures.
Florida Department of Health said confirmed cases in the state rose by 1,421 Friday, the highest one-day number yet. The total number of cases in Florida is now 24,753. The number of deaths has reached 726, an increase of 58 in the last 24 hours.