Virginia Beach Oceanfront Opens To Recreation On Friday
The Virginia Beach oceanfront and First Landing State Park will be open for recreational activity by the end of the week.
Mayor Bobby Dyer joined Gov. Ralph Northam's press briefing today to discuss the planned reopening.
Some activities are still prohibited, including group sports, use of alcohol, speakers, tents and groups of umbrellas. In addition, parking garages and lots will operate at half capacity.
"Let me be clear," Northam said. "The rules must be followed. If people swarm these beaches and ignore social distancing rules or the regulations the city has put into place, I will not hesitate to reinstate Phase 1 restrictions or even the close the beach outright if necessary."
The governor also said that a team of "beach ambassadors" would monitor compliance with regulations, and that officials would increase cleaning of areas around the oceanfront.
Other beaches in Virginia will still remain closed for everything but fishing and exercise.
"The Governor’s staff explained to us that today’s announcement is an opportunity to see how Virginia’s tourist oceanfront safely opens," Lori Crouch, Norfolk Director of Communications said in a written statement for the Norfolk city manager's office. "Keep in mind, Norfolk’s beach parks are much different than Virginia Beach’s resort oceanfront area. Our beach parks are public amenities that cater to our residents. We are preparing a plan to safely reopen when the governor lifts the restrictions."
"I believe we have a great plan," Dyer said during the briefing. "And I am prepared to stand by this plan to ensure that when we open we will be the safe beach that is required in these most challenging times."