Spring break is here, and Easter is right around the corner, so this should be a very busy time of year for tourism on the Emerald Coast. Florida's panhandle is a popular destination for thousands of Acadiana residents every year, and people who have already booked their trips to Destin, Ft Walton Beach, or any of the 30A communities have been watching the news anxiously during this worldwide health crisis.

And as of today, the beaches in Okaloosa County and Walton County are being closed by local officials. According to getthecoast.com, The Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners voted today (March 19) to 'close public county beaches and public beach access points starting at the end of the day on Friday, March 20. The pier on Okaloosa Island will only allow fishing.' This goes into effect on Saturday, March 21, and will technically allow any business with private beach access to still use the beach. Okaloosa County includes the cities of Destin and Ft. Walton Beach. Walton County includes Miramar Beach, Sandestin, Santa Rosa Beach, and Rosemary Beach.

As far as the beaches in Walton County go, the nwfdailynews.com says Walton County Commissioners voted Wednesday to close all 26 miles of beaches, public and private, 'under the terms of a local state of emergency declared earlier this week in light of the coronavirus, the virus behind COVID-19'. WEAR TV is saying the beaches will be closed immediately for the next 30 days.