Going to the beach? Here's a list of what's open in North Carolina

Posted at 7:09 AM, May 16, 2020

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed an executive order allowing the state to move into Phase One of reopeningamid the coronavirus pandemic earlier in May.

The order took effect on Friday, May 8 at 5 p.m. and is set to expire at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 22. The end of this order does not necessarily mean the state will move to Phase Two; if the indicators are not in the right place, Cooper says state officials will extend Phase One to longer than two weeks.

In Phase One parks and trails are encouraged to reopen.

On May 16 Currituck County, Dare County, and Hyde County restrictions on entry for visitors will be lifted in response to Governor Roy Cooper's Phase One announcement.

News 3 is looking into what that means for the public in regards to beaches, parks, trails and piers. We are gathering information and will update this list as we learn more.

Here's what is open so far:

  • Restaurants are open for takeout and delivery only. If a restaurant has outdoor seating, on-site consumption in the outdoor seating area is not permitted, according to Dare County officials.
  • Beaches are open. Social distancing guidelines will be enforced.
  • Under phase one of the state plan that begins on May 8 at 5:00 p.m., most businesses can open. Certain businesses such as gyms, salons, bars and theatres will remain closed.
  • Most parks and outdoor recreation areas are open. However, playgrounds remain closed at this time, and public restrooms may be closed at local parks and recreation areas.

Here's what is to come:

Beginning May 22, the following services will be available:

  • Restrooms at the Fort Raleigh Visitor Center, Wright Brothers pavilion, Cape Hatteras beach and sound-side parking areas and visitor centers (visitor centers will not be open).
  • Camping, with limited capacity will be available at Cape Hatteras campgrounds; however, campsite reservations and payments will only be available online. Staff will not be available to take payment at the campground and site availability will be limited - campers must click here to make campground reservations and payments.
  • Trash services in some locations - everyone is encouraged to "pack it in, pack it out" as trash service will remain limited.

Beginning May 23, the following services will be available:

  • Lifeguard services at Coquina Beach, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Beach, Frisco Beach, and Ocracoke Beach.

With public health in mind, the following facilities and activities remain closed:

  • Fort Raleigh, Wright Brothers and Cape Hatteras Visitor Centers and bookstores.
  • The Lost Colony at Fort Raleigh
  • The Avon Pier
  • Bodie Island lighthouse climbing
  • Cape Hatteras lighthouse climbing
  • In-person interpretive programs
  • Ocracoke Island boat slips

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