Local beachgoers and business owners shared their experiences and opinions regarding the partial reopening of the state of Florida in St. Augustine on Monday.

Residents could be seen flocking to the popular Vilano beach enjoying the Floridian sun after six weeks of being at home while the state's governor enacted social distancing measures.

One local woman shared her concerns about beaches becoming a possible spot for COVID-19 infections, while lying on beach chair.

"When you have beach access and public beach access, you have to understand everyone is going to be touching the same public showers, everyone is going to be touching the same pay to park place. It's just like concentrations of possibility of getting the coronavirus," she stated.

Local business owners opened their doors to customers again on Monday after a long period of closure. "We have been closed for the last six weeks so it's impacted our business immeasurably. This is the first day that we're authorised by the Governor to open, at 25 percent capacity," explained local H.W. Davis Co. manager Mark Bowen.

The US has been the worst-hit nation for both confirmed cases and for the number of deaths since the outbreak began. In Florida alone there have been 36,897 confirmed cases, with 1,399 deaths with the virus to date, while nationwide figures stand at over 1.18 million cases, with 68,922 subsequent deaths.

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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

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