Myrtle Beach City Council approves reopening of public beach accesses

Myrtle Beach police officer removes barriers from public beach access.
Myrtle Beach police officer removes barriers from public beach access.
Published: Apr. 28, 2020 at 11:30 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – The Myrtle Beach City Council passed a motion Tuesday allowing public beach accesses to reopen.

City manager John Pedersen rescinded the emergency order immediately that had closed public beach accesses and adjacent parking lots.

Myrtle Beach police officers began removing barriers on Tuesday afternoon, but city leaders warned that it may take a couple of days to remove them all. they added that people are allowed to walk around the barricades, and they won’t face any consequences.

In addition, Pedersen pointed out there are no lifeguards on the beach within Myrtle Beach at this time so swimming would be at “your own risk.”

The City of Myrtle Beach is reopening public beach access points immediately. It may take the city a few days to remove...

Posted by Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Myrtle Beach’s Fire Department (Ocean Rescue) and Police Department will also be strictly enforcing social distancing requirements for all beachgoers.

Tuesday’s decision comes more than a week after South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster put the option of opening public beach access in the hands of local leaders. The public beach accesses in Myrtle Beach had been closed for nearly a month following the governor’s original March 30 order.

Hours after the decision was made, some people made their way out to the beach to enjoy the sand between their toes.

“When we went out there, there was really barely any people, they were far away, past six feet, so I wasn’t really concerned about people or anything,” said beachgoer Madison Shealy.

And Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune hopes that the community will continue to abide by the social distancing guidelines, but is hesitant about visitors.

“I believe our residents will do the right things. I believe our businesses will do the right things. I don’t know that we can reasonably expect all of our visitors to do the right thing,” Bethune said.

Myrtle Beach leaders decided to hold off reopening the public beach accesses immediately so it could be discussed further.

City council members also delayed a final decision on short-term rental reservations, which were prohibited during the month of April. Currently, hotels are allowed to accept new reservations starting May 1, but that could change. Myrtle Beach City Council will hold an emergency meeting at 10 a.m. Thursday to discuss short-term rentals

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