Gov. McMaster cancels orders restricting public beach access and some retail stores

South Carolina News

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – Governor Henry McMaster on Monday announced a plan to relax some of the orders he put into place to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

As of noon Tuesday, Gov. McMaster is cancelling his executive order which closed access to public beaches, public piers, docks, and wharves.

He said the decision comes after speaking with mayors in the beach towns and said doing so gives the decision-making back to the local governments. That means it gives local mayors and town council members the authority to restrict access as they see fit.

Gov. McMaster is also relaxing orders for some retail stores in the state, beginning at 5:00 p.m. Monday.

The governor said in doing so, merchants and customers must adhere to social distancing requirements.

The businesses to be reopened are as follows:

  • Furniture and home-furnishings stores
  • Clothing, shoe, and clothing-accessory stores
  • Jewelry, luggage, and leather goods stores
  • Department stores, with the exception of hardware and home-improvement stores
  • Sporting goods stores
  • Book, craft, and music stores
  • Flea markets
  • Florists and flower stores

All other businesses previously closed by executive order will remain closed until further notice

Restrictions that were earlier placed on big box stores and home supply stores will not be in effect on these retail businesses, meaning there will be a limit to 20% of occupancy or 5 customers for every 1,000 square-feet in the establishment, whichever is less.

Gov. McMaster said law enforcement will continue to disperse groups of three or more who are causing a threat to public health.

No decision has been made for schools at this time. Gov. McMaster said state educations officials are studying the data, science and information and said that a decision is coming soon.

“We are still in a very serious situation,” said Gov. McMaster. “We know that this virus spreads easily and we know it is deadly – particularly to people who are older or have underlying health issues. We must be sure that we continue to strict and disciplined with our social distancing and taking care not to infect others.”

Governor Henry McMaster also announced the creation of accelerateSC, a coordinated economic revitalization plan involving small and large business leaders, healthcare professionals, local government officials, and education professionals.

The plan consists of five components of analysis and effort: Response, Protection, Governance, Resources, and Information.

James Burns, a partner at the law firm of Nelson, Mullins, Riley and Scarborough, will serve as accelerateSC’s executive director. Burns and the rest of the membership are serving in a voluntary capacity. For further information about accelerateSC and its members, visit the governor’s website here.

Gov. McMaster and Lt. Governor Pamela Evette will attend and lead the first meeting of accelerateSC on Thursday of this week.

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