Virginia Beach Mayor remains hopeful beaches can reopen soon

Virginia Beach Oceanfront
Posted at 3:52 PM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 17:37:13-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Mayor Bobby Dyer said he remains hopeful beaches can reopen for Memorial Day weekend.

"We're hoping, but once again I think we've had some very productive conversations with the Governor," Dyer said Friday.

With a sunny warm forecast for the upcoming weekend, people will not be able to lie on the beach and soak up the sun. The beaches are only open for exercise and fishing.

"It's short term inconvenience for long term gain," said Dyer. "We're going to be observed right now to make sure we can be compliant."

Gov. Northam said he expects to have an announcement about the beaches on Monday. He says 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.

A team of ambassadors has already been posted at the Oceanfront to lay out the rules for people. Lifeguards will also be working starting the weekend, but a spokesman for the Lifesaving Service said they'd be focusing on people swimming.

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.