SC beaches, retail stores to open this week, some lawmakers say

State - Regional

SOUTH CAROLINA (WBTW/WSPA/AP) – South Carolina retail stores and public beach access points will be allowed to reopen on Tuesday, according to Rep. Neal Collins.

Collins, who represents the state’s 5th district, tweeted on Saturday that social distancing will be enforced on beaches, with groups of three or more considered a health threat.

Senator Stephen Goldfinch (R – District 34) told News13 Saturday beach access restrictions will ease some time next week.

All South Carolina stores will be expected to limit occupancy to either five customers per 1,000 square feet or 20 percent occupancy.

Gov. Henry McMaster’s chief of staff told The Post and Courier that the governor will issue the reopening orders on Monday.

The order will apply to numerous nonessential stores, including department stores, flea markets, florists, bookstores and music shops.

Grocery stores, pharmacies, home improvement stores and medical facilities have been allowed to stay open during the coronavirus pandemic.

Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune told News13 the governor called Saturday to discuss options for opening the beach accesses.

Mayor Bethune said she and other city officials would be discussing what’s best for Myrtle Beach Saturday evening.

“We need to understand the affects on our police and Beach Patrol,” Mayor Bethune said. “Our main concern will be doing what is best to keep our community safe.”

Governor McMaster issued an executive order March 30 that ordered the closure of public access points to the state’s beaches. It also ordered the closure of all public boat ramps, landings and other access points on the state’s lakes, rivers and waterways.

Public boat landings were reopened Friday.

News13 has reached out to the governor’s office for additional information. Count on News13 for updates.

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