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Watch: Gov. Northam announces Virginia Beach's beaches will reopen Friday

Virginia Beach Oceanfront
Posted at 7:55 AM, May 18, 2020

RICHMOND, Va. - Gov. Northam announced Monday that he will allow Virginia Beach to re-open their beach on Friday.

Northam said he's been impressed with Virginia Beach's plan. "We understand it's Memorial weekend and we understand what's going on with our economy in Virginia, but the top priority for all of us is to do it safely," said Northam.

Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer said he remains hopeful beaches can reopen for Memorial Day weekend.

Dyer has been calling for the beach to be reopened for weeks. The city has a plan to enforce social distancing and he says the beaches are essential to the city's economy. "We have to find this balance that people can start functioning again, but they have to know we have the responsibility to do it in a very safe way," he said.

Gov. Northam announced that Virginia Beach will be open for swimming and sunbathing on May 22, but he provides restrictions.

Northam says restrictions such as no group sports, no alcohol, no large groups and parking allowing only 50% occupancy will be in place.

Virginia Beach's mayor says that extra measures such as an enhanced cleaning schedule will be set in place.

Northam's decision only applies to Virginia Beach. He says other cities need to come up with plans for reopening safely.

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