RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) – Virginia Governor Ralph Northam says the sand along Virginia Beach can open to the public again on Friday.
Monday afternoon, Northam rolled out the Virginia Beach Access plan during a COVID-19 briefing. The plan will deploy 150 ambassadors to monitor people on the sand and make sure they are keeping their social distance.
“Virginia’s beaches offer important mental health benefits for rest, relaxation and exercise,” said Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer.
Cape Charles beach remains closed.
Starting May 22, Virginia Beach will reopen for recreational activities with limitations. All other beaches in the state will remain closed except for exercise and fishing.
Dyer said cleaning protocols, education and enforcement are short-term inconveniences for a long-term gain against coronavirus.
“We have an opportunity to provide that safe outdoor space on one of the whitest beaches on the east coast: Virginia Beach,” said Dyer. “Our city is committed to opening our beaches in a way that’s safe for our residents, visitors and thousands of front line staff who bring our beaches to life.”
House Republican Leader Todd Gilbert issued the following statement regarding Northam’s decision to allow Virginia Beach to open on Friday: “We’re finally seeing movement in the right direction, but there is still a disappointing lack of trust in people and local governments to be able to use what we know about this virus to be able to open as safely as possible. We can’t stay shuttered forever. The Governor’s energy should be focused on providing specific guidance to people and businesses on how to interact safely rather than telling them what they can’t do.”