UNEDITED PRESS RELEASE
Gulf Shores, Ala. – In accordance with the new Safer at Home Order recently issued by Governor Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Public Health, the City of Gulf Shores will reopen beaches and certain facilities.
Effective Thursday, April 30, at 5:01 p.m. all beaches will reopen.
· Beaches shall be open to gatherings of fewer than 10 persons, and anyone using the beaches must maintain a consistent six-foot distance between himself or herself and all persons from a different household. The term “beach” means the sandy shoreline area abutting the Gulf of Mexico, whether privately or publicly owned, including beach access points.
· Normal use of the beach – chairs, umbrellas, coolers, etc. – is allowed.
· Parking at East Gulf Place, located at the intersection of East 2nd Street and East Beach Boulevard, will be available only to City of Gulf Shores residents. Proof of residency will be required.
· The main Gulf Place parking area near the Pink Pony Pub and the Hangout will remain closed until further notice to make necessary repairs to the boardwalk. · For more information on additional beach parking, please visit www.gulfshoresal.gov/1139/Beach-Parking.
· Beachfront public restrooms will be open daily from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. to allow for additional deep cleaning and sanitization.
Effective Friday, May 1, the following City facilities will be reopen:
· The Gulf Shores Sportsplex will be available for open space and track use only.
· Public restrooms within City parks will be open daily from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
· Tennis courts will reopen for recreational use.
The following City facilities will remain closed to public access:
· Activity Center, Cultural Center, David L. Bodenhamer Recreation Center, Erie H. Meyer Civic Center, George C. Meyer Tennis Center, Gulf Shores Museum, Gulf Shores Public Library, Gulf Shores Dog Park, Kids Park, Skate Park, all outdoor basketball courts, playgrounds, all picnic pavilions, outdoor fitness equipment, drinking fountains, benches and picnic tables.
All City offices will continue to be open for business but are limiting public access. Any person or business needing to apply for a Business License, Building Permit, submit plans for Planning and Zoning review, or conduct other city business should continue to do so online by visiting https://www.gulfshoresal.gov/619/Online-Services.
Anyone needing assistance from the City not accessible online MUST contact the appropriate department to schedule an appointment. A directory of department phone numbers is provided on the City website at https://www.gulfshoresal.gov/directory.
Per the Safer at Home Order, all retail stores may reopen effective April 30 at 5:01 p.m., while complying with the following rules:
· Occupancy shall be limited to no more than 50 percent of the normal occupancy load as determined by the fire marshal.
· An employee of the retail store may not knowingly allow customers or patrons to congregate within six feet of one another.
· All retail stores shall take reasonable steps to comply with guidelines on sanitation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“the CDC”) and the Alabama Department of Public Health.
All restaurants, bars, breweries and similar establishments remain closed to dine-in customers through May 15. Many area restaurants are offering take-out or delivery as an alternative. Other non-essential businesses, venues and attractions shall remain closed through May 15. These include entertainment venues, athletic facilities, and close-contact service providers such as salons. Please visit https://governor.alabama.gov/ to view the whole order.
The City of Gulf Shores urges all residents and visitors – especially vulnerable persons – to exercise personal responsibility in slowing the spread of COVID-19 by:
· Minimizing travel outside the home, especially if sick.
· Wearing face coverings around people from other households when it is necessary to leave the home.
· Washing hands frequently with soap and water or hand sanitizer, especially after touching frequently used items or surfaces.
· Refraining from touching one’s face.
· Sneezing or coughing into a tissue, or the inside of one’s elbow.
· Disinfecting frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.
“Vulnerable persons” means individuals 65 years and older or individuals with serious underlying health conditions. Anyone fitting this description is urged to take extreme care during this time.
Effective immediately, any person who has tested positive for COVID-19 shall be quarantined to their place of residence for a period of 14 days, or other period of time as directed by the State Health Officer, or his designee, after receiving positive test results. Any person quarantined pursuant to this provision shall not leave their place of residence for any reason other than to seek necessary medical treatment.
All non-work related gatherings of 10 persons or more, or non-work related gatherings of any size that cannot maintain a consistent six-foot distance between persons from different households, are prohibited. But “drive-in” gatherings of any size are permitted if the participants adhere to the following rules: a. All participants shall remain in their vehicles for the entirety of the event; b. The participants in each vehicle must all share the same household; and c. Participants shall not come within six feet of participants in other vehicles. Non-work related gathering includes church services, weddings, funeral services, social gatherings, concerts, festivals, sporting events, and similar events. For specific questions or information related to the governor’s health order visit https://governor.alabama.gov/.
The City of Gulf Shores will continue to provide public updates at www.gulfshoresal.gov and through social media as they become available. The public is encouraged to sign up to receive update notifications by visiting our website and clicking the “Notify Me” button.