CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Local beaches are closer to lifting restrictions and allowing non-island residents the opportunity to enjoy local waterways and businesses.
Checkpoints will be in place from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. next week as opposed to the 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. checkpoints that are in place right now.
Once these checkpoint hours are reduced, restrictions will be in place for anyone on the beach which includes limiting groups to less than three people, unless they are family.
Tuesday marks the last day of some restrictions on the Isle of Palms. It comes after numerous requests from residents and the Town of Mount Pleasant to allow tax-paying citizens the opportunity to enjoy local beaches.
Charleston County also sent a letter to Isle of Palms Mayor Jimmy Carrol and members of city council urging them to reduce restrictions or face legal action.
“The Isle of Palms plays a vital role in the geography and economy of the county of Charleston, as well as in the state of South Carolina,” said Charleston County Council Chairman Elliott Summey. “If the city is unwilling to reverse the decision, Charleston County will be forced to take legal action against the city to lift the restrictions.”
The Isle of Palms Police Department will continue to enforce social distancing guidelines when checkpoints are reduced on Wednesday. People who do not follow these guidelines will face fines.
Isle of Palms City Council made the decision to lift restrictions during an emergency meeting Monday night, however, they voted to only allow people on the beach to exercise and walk their dogs.
You cannot sit and sunbathe.
City Council also granted a 15-day exemption that begins on Wednesday for restaurants. It allows them to sell food outside of their establishment.
Mayor Jimmy Carrol encourages you to do your part to keep the distance.
“Help us help y’all enjoy the beach,” he said. “You know, let’s think about social distancing. Work with us, stay, come out and enjoy the beach. Stay apart, don’t get in big groups. Because if it fails, we’re going to go back to where we were and close the beach down again.”
Short term rentals and other overnight accommodations that are 29 days or less are not allowed on the Isle of Palms until May 12th.
On Folly Beach, checkpoints are now in place from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.
Folly Beach City County decided on Monday night that guests will be allowed at hotels and short-term rentals beginning May 12th as well. They were originally not allowed until May 29th.