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The original item was published from 5/22/2020 10:41:18 AM to 10/23/2020 12:00:09 AM.

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* Hampton City News

Posted on: May 22, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Hampton answers questions about plans, stages for future beach openings

Buckroe Beach- Lifeguard stand

May 22, 2020 - Hampton’s public beaches remain closed to all activities except walking and jogging on the order of Gov. Ralph Northam. The state had originally planned not to allow any beaches to open during Phase I. However, the tourism industry and tax base in Virginia Beach is a significant part of the economy, and the state allowed Virginia Beach to develop a plan for a beach opening, with capacity restrictions, for Memorial Day.

State officials have stressed that this is a pilot project, and if social distancing is not maintained, the beach can be closed again for activities other than walking and jogging.  However, if things go well in Virginia Beach, the governor has said he will look to a similar modified opening for other beaches, including those in Hampton and Norfolk. 

Hampton has been in close contact with state officials and has submitted its plan for safe reopening practices. We await a response from Richmond, but are ready to proceed with a reopening when given the permission to do so.

We look forward to being able to announce the reopening of our beaches. Please understand that this next step will be a modified opening like Virginia Beach’s with half the usual amount of parking, physical distancing requirements, etc. We will also not resume food trucks or traditional Sunday night Groovin’ by the Bay concerts, as they would cause a concentration of too many people. These concessions need to be made to ensure that the beach can open for our residents’ and visitors’ enjoyment.

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