Virginia Beach Reopening for Swimming, Sunbathing in Time for Memorial Day

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The beach in Virginia Beach is reopening in time for Memorial Day weekend, as is First Landing State Park.

Only fishing and exercise has been allowed under the stay-at-home order, but beginning Friday, sunbathing, swimming and surfing can resume.

Team sports, alcohol, speakers, tents and groups of umbrellas will not be allowed.

Parking will be limited to 50% capacity, and about 150 ambassadors will keep an eye on beachgoers and encourage them to follow the rules.

Gov. Ralph Northam and Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer urged beachgoers to follow the rules or the beach could be closed again.

Tents, umbrellas and beach blankets were set up near the water over the weekend, even though the beach was closed. The Virginian-Pilot reported groups maintained their distance.

Virginia House Republican Leader Todd Gilbert issued a statement on the decision:

"We're finally seeing movement in the right direction, but there is still a disappointing lack of trust in people and local governments to be able to use what we know about this virus to be able to open as safely as possible. We can’t stay shuttered forever. The Governor’s energy should be focused on providing specific guidance to people and businesses on how to interact safely rather than telling them what they can’t do."

Del. Jason Miyares, R-Virginia Beach, issued this statement:

"It's disappointing to see the Beach half open. Mayor Dyer and his team put together a great plan that would have opened our beaches safely, and given our local businesses an earlier reprieve from this slow motion disaster. Nonetheless, it's good that people will be able to begin their summer at an oceanfront that is safe and open for business." 

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