Coronavirus: COVID-19 not stopping New Year’s Eve celebrations in Jacksonville Beach

Watch CBS47/FOX30 for New Year’s Eve celebrations

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The beach bars were bustling on New Year’s Eve as people rang in 2021.

Many people said they were excited to celebrate after what’s been a rough year.

The Jacksonville Beach Police Department was out in full force Thursday night. The agency ramped up patrols — just like on any other New Year’s Eve.

Action News Jax rode along with Officer Christopher Johns, who was preparing for a busy night ahead.

”I would expect that after about 10 o’clock, it’s going to be pretty busy,” Johns said. “We’ll probably be running from call to call.”

Johns said one of the biggest concerns is drunk drivers.

”We have a large bar crowd here. That’s no surprise to anybody, so drunk driving is already an issue,” Johns said. “It becomes even a greater issue on New Year’s Eve.”

He said to have a plan in place to get home safely.

Bars and businesses in Jacksonville were hoping for a decent turnout.

Candy Breidert, the owner of Ginger’s Place in Jax Beach, said New Year’s Eve is normally a good night for the business, but she doesn’t know what to expect because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

”I don’t know whether they’re going to be crowded or not crowded,” Breidert said. “Like any other business, you just don’t know what’s going to happen.”

She said businesses could use the revenue right now.

”It’s just been a little scary. You know, you’re just fearful about whether you are going to stay open or you’re going to close. Can you make it to keep going?” Breidert said.

Breidert said she took out a loan to help keep her business going. With the vaccine being rolled out now, she said she’s hopeful better things are to come in 2021.