VB mayor hopes for a ‘measured opening’ of beaches by Memorial Day

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — In just a few days, Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer is hoping to hear back from Governor Ralph Northam to see if he will consider a “measured opening” of the city’s 28 miles of beaches.

He hopes this can happen during phase one of the governor’s Virginia Forward Blueprint. This past Monday, Dyer wrote a letter to Northam.

“I think it’s essential that we get our beaches open because that’s going to help revitalize the hotel, the restaurant industry, and all the shops at the oceanfront,” said Dyer.

But Dyer says it needs to be done gradually and safely. He does have a date he would like to hopefully see it opened by.

“If we can get open by Memorial Day, it would help the businesses that are suffering so much right now,” he said.

In the letter Dyer wrote to Northam, he laid out how he believes the beaches can safely be reopened. He mentioned posting signs regarding social distancing, cleaning, and personal protective wear protocols.

Read his full letter here.

Things like benches, bathrooms, showers, and railings at access points would see increased cleaning.

“One of the things I told the governor I would be responsible for is the enforcement and safety of the rules if we’re allowed to open,” said Dyer.

Dyer says he also had a phone conversation with Northam yesterday.

“I thought we made a good compelling case to give food for thought for the governor to limit the opening of our beaches in a very responsible way,” he said.

But Dyer says in order for anything to happen there must be compliance.

“I want to emphasize that, let’s show the governor and everybody that we are responsible. Let’s not overwhelm the beaches; let’s make sure we keep social distancing of 6 feet apart; let’s make sure that we don’t congregate; let’s make sure we don’t have volleyball games,” said Dyer. “We have to show we’re going to be compliant if we have the hope of getting things open.”

Northam has announced plans to release guidelines on Monday for what phase one could look like.

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