City of Charleston restricting large gatherings of 50 or more people

Charleston hospitality officials say the city is starting to feel the effects of the...
Charleston hospitality officials say the city is starting to feel the effects of the coronavirus. Explore Charleston says a lot of the hotels have seen some cancellations.(Live 5 News)
Updated: Mar. 16, 2020 at 3:32 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The City of Charleston will temporarily restrict indoor gatherings of 50 or more people which include locations like bars, restaurants, movie theaters, gyms, and houses of worship.

Mayor John Tecklenburg said all public meetings and public performances have been canceled through the end of the month.

He said public health remains a top priority for the city.

“I assure you that if we let to contagion go unabated in Charleston and we became a hot spot like we have seen in other places around the world that the price we would pay down the road would be so much higher and so much dear,” Tecklenburg said."Not just economically, but in health and wellness and yes even human life."

According to city officials, effective midnight Tuesday, public indoor establishments within the City of Charleston will be temporarily restricted from permitting large gatherings of 50 or more people, including but not limited to bars and restaurants, movie theaters and live performance venues, bowling alleys and arcades, gyms and fitness centers, and houses of worship.

The mayor announced the following steps being taken:

  • All public meetings have been canceled through the end of the month. Essential meetings will be rescheduled as needed with technology and social distancing practices that protect participants and the general public.
  • Public performances and gallery showings have been canceled in all city facilities through March 31. All instructor led Recreation Department programs and classes, including youth and adult sports programs, have been suspended.
  • Consistent with CDC guidelines, citizens are discouraged from gathering in groups of 50 or more in city parks and playgrounds.
  • City senior centers are closed.
  • The city’s Permit Center will be closed to the general public. Many permits can be submitted online through the Citizen Access Portal at For permit types not yet configured in CAP, permit applications can be submitted digitally to
  • At this time, there will be no inspections of occupied structures. Inspections for unoccupied structures will continue as normal.
  • City departments are implementing work-from-home policies that allow city services to continue.
  • City Police, Fire and Sanitation have implemented enhanced safety protocols and prepared continuity of operations plans in case they are forced to maintain operations with a reduced workforce.

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