Vacationers hoping to while away the Fourth of July weekend on a Galveston beach will have to look elsewhere. On July 1, the City of Galveston closed all beaches, plus parking on both sides of Seawall Boulevard. The move is in response to increases of cases of COVID-19, according to a city press release.
The beaches will close on Friday, July 3, at 5 am through Monday, July 6, at 12:01 am. Visitors will not be allowed to access Gulf beaches at any location within the City of Galveston.
Meanwhile, parking will be prohibited on both sides of Seawall Boulevard Friday, July 3, at 5 am through Monday, July 6, at 12:01 am. Visitors will be able to exercise on the Seawall sidewalk. Chairs, picnics, tents, or any other type of tailgating on the Seawall sidewalk will be prohibited, per the order. Parking on Boddeker Drive will also be prohibited.
Galveston Mayor Jim Yarbrough signed the executive order for the beach closure on July 1 after the city conferred with the Texas General Land Office, according to a statement. The decision follows the guidance of medical professionals and comes after Texas Medical Center hospitals entered into Phase 2 surge plans for ICU capacity in neighboring Harris County.
“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,” Yarbrough said in a statement. “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.”
Those who violate the order will face a Class C misdemeanor and up to a $500 fine.
Galveston’s Fourth of July parade and public fireworks display were canceled earlier this summer because of concerns regarding COVID-19 and social distancing.