By Joshua Huff, sports editor
GULF SHORES — The coronavirus pandemic has now forced the closure of all public Gulf Shore beaches, mayor Robert Craft announced earlier this morning.
All public beaches are to be closed following Craft’s announced that the city has declared a local state of emergency on Wednesday.
“Our goal is primarily to protect our local citizens who are scared to death but also to protect the public that comes here,” Craft said.
The public beaches will be closed starting Friday, March 20, at 7 a.m. Craft expects the closures to last until April 6.
The city has asked the Baldwin County Commission, Dauphin Island and Orange Beach to join them in closing their beaches for the same period of time.
Gulf Shores also made the following recommendations for citizens:
- No mass gatherings of 10 persons or more, or gatherings of any size that cannot maintain a consistent six-foot distance between participants (with exceptions noted below). This includes festivals, parades, assemblies, or sporting events.
- Senior adults or those with chronic health problems should avoid gatherings (outside of close family), and avoid travel by air, train or bus.
- Retail businesses should limit patronage at any one time to 50 percent of the normally allowable capacity.
- Restaurants are strongly encouraged to only offer food for take-out or delivery. Online ordering or curbside pick-up is also recommended.
- Public buildings should consider whether visitation may be limited. Hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities are encouraged to implement visitation policies that protect vulnerable persons.
- All persons should consider whether out-of-state travel plans may be delayed or canceled.
- Participants in religious services or events, weddings, funerals, and family events should exercise prudence and maintain consistent six-foot distance between participants if possible.
- While workplaces should attempt to heed to these recommendations whenever possible, it is understood that exceptions may be needed for essential government functions, municipal and state legislative bodies, and health care facilities including clinics, hospitals, and pharmacies. Consider using means for electronic or video meetings in workplaces if possible.