'Fair warnings' and new additions for beachgoers ahead of busiest beach holidaysBy Andrea Alvarez

In preparation for two of the busiest beach holidays coming up, Manatee County government officials partnered up with law enforcement to announce their plan to tackle safety for both visitors and locals.

“You know, when we talk about Easter weekend and Memorial Day weekend, that’s our two business weekends out here on the island,” said Director of Public Safety for Manatee County Government, Jacob Saur. He and his team say they’re giving a fair warning to visitors and spring breakers before you leave to hit the sand and sun.

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“No alcohol, grilling in only the grill areas,” he said.

“Same thing with parking. Parking is a $75 fine,” said another spokesperson during that press conference.

“Get here early because parking does become limited,” added Saur. He and his team are also asking that you still be mindful when it comes to COVID-19. “There are still mask ordinances in place at Holmes Beach and along the island, we have signs up to remind everybody to socials distance and wear masks when they can.”

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Keep in mind, this time last year, Coquina Beach was closed. Now that it’s back open, officials say one issue they’re focusing on is preventing frequently lost children.

“It’s just problems we have on the beach. Lots of lost children. They get turned around on the beach,” said Saur. “We just completed our renovation of nine new lifeguard towers, so it somebody gets lost, make sure you see a lifeguard tower. Know what color the lifeguard tower is. With the public address system, we can easily relocate those children with their families.”

But perhaps the most notable piece of advice from officials that pertains to all beachgoers is your plan of action.

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“The best plan for coming out to the island is take your time, leave early. It’s going to take you a while to get out here,” said Saur.