Galveston County officials have announced that beaches on Bolivar Peninsula are once again open to the public. The move comes as a surprise as the beaches were scheduled to be closed through Friday.
Beaches in the unincorporated areas (Bolivar Peninsula) of Galveston County have been reopened effective April 13th,…
The county originally closed the beaches on the peninsula last Friday to prevent crowds from gathering over Easter weekend. The closures were scheduled to last a full week and end on Friday, but they were ended Monday afternoon.
Galveston County Judge Mark Henry said that he plans for the beaches to stay open in the coming weeks, but he warned that if the beaches get too crowded and social distancing protocol isn’t followed, the county could decide to close the beaches again.
To help ensure the crowds don’t get out of hand, law enforcement will be patrolling the peninsula and breaking up any large gatherings of groups on the beach.
Galveston Island Beaches Mostly Remain Closed
It’s worth noting that the reopening order is only for beaches on Bolivar Peninsula and does not extend to Galveston Island.
At this time, most beaches on Galveston Island remain closed and are scheduled to be shut down to the public through April 30th. The only slight exception to this is Jamaica Beach which has been closed to traffic but is still open to pedestrians.
Originally, Galveston officials tried to keep the beaches open so the local residents could get exercise and fresh air, but it became problematic when people from other counties and cities were driving to Galveston to hang out on the beach for fun.
“The City of Galveston had attempted to avoid closing public beaches because it is our desire that residents have an area to exercise and get fresh air while maintaining safe social distancing. However, it is clear that there are many people visiting from other areas in defiance of local, state and national travel recommendations and/or restrictions. As a result, the City of Galveston must restrict access to the public beach,” city officials said in a statement.