Galveston closing beaches for July 4th weekend due to spread to COVID-19

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FILE – In this Sept. 20, 2019, file photo, a child races into the surf to join family in Galveston, Texas. In a win for Texas horseback riders, the Galveston City Council won’t implement a requirement for people to pick up horse manure left behind on public beaches. (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP, File)

GALVESTON, Texas (KETK) – The City of Galveston is closing its beaches for the July 4th weekend in reponse to the spread of COVID-19.

The city posted on Facebook that beaches will be closed and parking will be blocked on both sides of Seawall Boulevard over the holiday weekend “in response to recent increases in cases of COVID-19, and health and safety concerns for our residents and visitors.”

The beaches will be closed to all traffic Friday, July 3, at 5 a.m. through Monday, July 6, at 12:01 a.m. People will not be allowed to access Gulf beaches at any location within the City of Galveston.

Beaches will reopen Monday morning.

The city also is temporarily prohibiting parking on both sides of Seawall Boulevard from 5 a.m. Friday to 12:01 a.m. Monday. The city will place no parking signs beginning Friday morning.

People will be able to exercise on the Seawall sidewalk, but chairs, picnics, tents, or any other type of tailgating on the Seawall sidewalk is not allowed.

Additionally, there will be no parking on Boddeker Drive.

“At this time, based on the current health situation and the guidance of medical professionals, I do not feel it is prudent or responsible to have thousands of visitors descending on Galveston beaches,” Mayor Jim Yarbrough said. “Galveston has and always will be a welcoming destination, but the ongoing public health crisis demands our attention and response. We have to prioritize health and safety.”

The order may be enforced by any peace officer of the Galveston Police Department or City Marshal’s office, and any member of Galveston Island Beach Patrol. Violation of the order is a Class C misdemeanor and carries an up to $500 fine.

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