Gov. McMaster orders closing of public access to all South Carolina beaches

Updated: Mar. 30, 2020 at 7:56 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Gov. Henry McMaster has ordered the closure of all public access points to South Carolina’s beaches.

This executive order also closes all public boat ramps, landings and other access points on the state’s lakes, rivers and waterways.

According to McMaster, the order does not impact the rights of private property owners living on beaches, lakes, rivers, or waterways in any way.

“As a result of behavior observed this past weekend by the Department of Natural Resources and SLED, it has become necessary to close public access to our state’s beaches, and to close boat ramps and landings on our state’s lakes, rivers and waterways,” McMaster said. “This is unfortunate for those who chose to responsibly follow the instructions of our public health officials, but it is a necessary action to prevent the spread of this dangerous virus.”

This past weekend, the Town of Edisto Beach and the City of Folly Beach put back in place restrictions to their beaches.

Both municipalities had placed restrictions last week but rescinded them after Attorney General Alan Wilson released an opinion which stated that only the governor had the right to issue emergency orders.

Both, Edisto Beach and Folly Beach then lifted their restrictions and cited Wilson’s opinion.

However, this past weekend both municipalities reversed the lift and put back in place those restrictions.

This follows after residents of Edisto Beach and Folly Beach were seen protesting holding signs asking non-residents to stay home.

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