VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - In a letter to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer called for the city's beaches to be allowed to open with no restrictions May 28, ahead of Memorial Day Weekend.
In the letter, Dyer listed events that fall before June 15, the date Northam previously said would be when COVID-19 restrictions will loosen statewide. The 27th Annual North American Sand Soccer Championships was scheduled for June 11 through 13, and the inaugural Coastal Edge Shoot the Pier event was scheduled for June 5; Dyer said that outdoor distancing requirements would make some of the management practices "arbitrarily onerous."
Dyer wrote that the city must be "competitive" to attract tourists and support local business, and compared it to resort communities with fewer COVID-19 restrictions like the Outer Banks in North Carolina, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Ocean City, Maryland.
"As we have demonstrated throughout the past year, public health and safety remains a top priority," Dyer wrote. "In addition to implementing extensive safety protocols, we have actively supported successful community vaccination efforts. We believe these steps have positioned Virginia Beach to open up responsibly."
Dyer's letter comes a day after the CDC announced that it’s easing its indoor mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people.
“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said. “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic. We have all longed for this moment, when we can get back to some sense of normalcy.”