Despite the weather forecast for Memorial Day Weekend not being very beach friendly, the town of Cape Charles is not taking any chances in efforts to remind the public the beach is closed.
Two large signs reading ‘Beach Closed’ now appear on the Cape Charles town sign on the corner of Route 13 and Stone Road.
“The Governor closed our beach with his executive orders 55 and 61. We put signs up on the entrances to the beach as soon as these orders were issued. Unfortunately, many people have been ignoring them. So since this is a holiday weekend and potentially more people could be coming to town, we wanted them to see a notice as they are coming into town,” said Cape Charles Town Manager John Hozer. “There has been no recent change to anything, we’re just doing our best to let the public know what’s going on and hoping for better compliance.”
Eye witness reports have said the Cape Charles Police Department has been patrolling the beach on ATVs and asking anyone who isn’t exercising or fishing to leave.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam allowed Virginia Beach and First Landing to reopen their beaches this past Monday, but added this was only because Virginia Beach developed a plan to safely do so.
There has been no mention of a plan by the Cape Charles Town Council, which just had an election Tuesday night, to develop a plan and ask for the Governor’s permission to reopen.
“We’ve been following the state’s lead on all that to date,” added Hozey.
As far as Assateague Island, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it is following federal, state and local public safety guidance, while making every effort to provide continued access to recreational opportunities on public lands. Visitors entering Service property during this period have a responsibility to keep themselves and others around them safe, be aware of public health and safety guidelines, and avoid taking unneeded risk. Even though the beaches at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge are federal land, the Service defers to the Governor’s Executive Order #62 concerning beach activities to ensure the safety of all visitors. We fully support the Governor in allowing visitors to only use the beach for exercise and fishing.