Edisto Beach has reopened to the public after town council voted 4-1 to allow public access to the beach in a meeting on Thursday May 15.
Following the governor’s mandates, town officials had previously closed the beaches and prohibited visitors to the island. A checkpoint was installed, and all visitors had to show legitimate proof of eligibility to enter the town. These prior ordinances were to protect the majority of residents whose average age puts them at risk for COVID-19.
On May 15, Mayor Jane Darby and town council rescinded the prior ordinances and opened the beaches.
In the virtual meeting, which can be viewed on the town’s Facebook page, town council passed Emergency Ordinance 2020-18 which opened the town to visitors but urges the following:
1. Town staff and law enforcement will continue to enforce the governor’s executive orders and watch for gatherings of more than three people.
2. All residents and visitors to the town are asked to limit social interaction to groups of three people and practice social distancing in accordance with CDC guidelines.
3. Residents and visitors are asked to take every precaution to avoid potential exposure to, and to slow the spread of COVID-19 by limiting movements outside of their homes.
4. Those who are at risk need to stay home.
The new ordinance comes as a relief to business owners, retailers, restaurant owners and real estate agents who have taken a financial hit because of the COVID-19 limitations. Many hope that with graduations, weddings and the fast approaching summer, business will pick up and life will return to normal.