DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. (WKRG) — Dauphin Island beaches are set to reopen to the public on Friday after Governor Kay Ivey announced beaches can reopen in her “Safer at Home” order.
“I think its going to be a beautiful weekend, we’re going to have a lot of folks show up because its new. I think it’s going to be a test,” said Jeff Collier, the mayor of Dauphin Island.
After the order was announced, Dauphin Island shared how they will be reopening their beaches. West End Beach, which is the only beach owned by the town, will open for its regular hours starting Friday. They will be open every day, with some parking limitations and enforcement. Police will be patrolling all of the beaches in the city enforcing social distancing and monitoring group numbers. Bathrooms on the West End Beach will be cleaned multiple times a day.
“People have been waiting a long time to get back on the beaches, and I understand that. And so I think everybody needs to understand that unless we play by the rules, that can be taken away again. Whether its by the town, the governor,” said Collier.
The mayor of Dauphin Island says their main priority is the health and safety of their citizens and visitors.
“We want to do it safely. There’s a balance between, again health and safety and the health of the economy. We’re trying to hit that healthy medium as best we can,” said Collier.
Collier says parking permit areas will be enforced vigorously. Police will decide what they need to do if they see people breaking social distancing, or crowding the beach. The mayor says it is possible some would be sent home if they did not follow the rules.
Dauphin Island Public Beach will be open Friday, May 1, from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The beach will be open for those 8 hours Wednesday-Sunday, and closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Parking will be limited, and social distancing will be enforced. Groups of more than 10 will not be allowed.
East End Beach, Dauphin Island Campground, Fort Gaines, Cadillac Square Bathrooms, and Audubon Parking will remain closed until further notice.
The beaches along the Gulf of Mexico have been closed in Alabama since March 19th. Governor Ivey’s order restrictions state:
- No groups of 10 or more people
- Social distancing will be required.
You can find how Baldwin County beaches are handling reopening here.
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