Photos of packed beaches, bikeways, and hiking trails show how people are ignoring coronavirus social-distancing mandates around the world

People crowd a beach in Clearwater, Florida, on March 17, 2020, despite the federal government's recommendation to avoid gatherings of 10 or more people.

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People crowd a beach in Clearwater, Florida, on March 17, 2020, despite the federal government’s recommendation to avoid gatherings of 10 or more people.
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Steve Nesius/Reuters
  • As the coronavirus continues to spread worldwide, affected countries and cities are imposing sweeping measures to limit public gatherings and encourage social distancing.
  • Despite recommendations to shelter in place and limit nonessential travel, people are flocking to parks, beaches, and popular hiking trails, prompting stricter regulations.
  • On March 16, President Trump said that Americans should avoid gathering in groups of 10 or more people to help curb the spread of the virus.
  • Other countries, such as Italy, France, and Greece, have issued nationwide lockdowns.
  • On March 19, California became the first state to issue a stay-at-home order, encouraging residents to avoid all nonessential travel and stay at least 6 feet away from others if out in public. Other states, including New York and Illinois, have followed suit.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Locals and spring breakers flocked to Clearwater Beach in Florida on March 17. Five days later, the popular beach closed to visitors for two weeks. Florida has not yet issued a statewide stay-at-home order, leaving beach closures up to counties.

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People crowd the beach in Clearwater, Florida, on March 17, 2020.
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Steve Nesius/Reuters

Source: Business Insider; Tampa Bay Times


Partiers gathered for boat raft-ups in Boca Raton, Florida, this past weekend, prompting Palm Beach County to shut down boat ramps, marinas, and all recreational boating on March 22 until further notice.

Source: City of Boca Raton


Despite California’s stay-at-home order, residents flocked to Huntington Beach in Los Angeles to enjoy sunny weather on March 21.

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People on the beach on March 21, 2020, in Huntington Beach, California.
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Michael Heiman/Getty Images

Source: Los Angeles Times


On March 22, Los Angeles closed city parks and parking at city beaches. “This weekend we saw too many people packing beaches, trails and parks,” LA Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted.

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People walk along the Venice Beach boardwalk on March 21, 2020 in Venice, California.
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Mario Tama/Getty Images

Source: Mayor Eric Garcetti


New York City residents gathered in Central Park the day that New York’s stay-at-home order went into effect. On March 22, Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave the city a 24-hour deadline to figure out how to lessen crowding in parks.

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People flock to Central Park in New York on March 22, 2020.
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John Nacion/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Source: New York Post


An influx of visitors to Marin, California, known for its early spring wildflowers, prompted the county to close down 18,000 acres of parks effective March 22.

Source: Marin County; Marin Convention & Visitors Bureau


Phoenix residents headed outside in droves this past weekend, crowding trailheads. Arizona has not yet issued a stay-at-home order but has closed down bars and limited restaurants to takeout and delivery, among other measures.

Source: Arizona Department of Health Services; Arizona Central


Thousands of cherry-blossom sightseers walked around the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC, on March 21. On March 22, DC closed down streets and traffic circles near the basin to limit the number of visitors.

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Cherry blossom sightseers crowded the narrow paths around the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC, on March 21, 2020.
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Eric Baradat/Getty Images

Source: Time


Crowds enjoyed cherry blossoms in Tokyo on March 22, despite the government’s recommendation that residents avoid traditional picnic-style viewing parties this year.

Source: Channel News Asia


Locals in Thessaloniki, Greece, flocked to a seaside promenade on March 16, ignoring social-distancing directives. On March 22, the country imposed a nationwide lockdown, restricting all nonessential travel and gatherings.

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Crowds walk along a seaside promenade in Thessaloniki, Greece, on March 16, 2020.
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Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Source: Reuters


Hundreds of Australians gathered at popular Bondi Beach in Sydney on March 20 despite the country’s ban outdoor gatherings of 500 people or more. On March 21, police closed the beach after Australia’s health minister called the crowds “unacceptable.”

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Beachgoers enjoy a sunny day at Bondi Beach in Sydney on March 20, 2020.
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Loren Elliott/Reuters

Source: CNBC