HOUSTON – Galveston County’s 32 miles of beaches will be reopened to the public Friday along with restaurants and retailers, as part of the first phase of Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan to reopen Texas. Earlier this week, Galveston partially reopened beaches with some restrictions but come Friday, those restrictions will be lifted.
In mid-March, the Texas General Land Office ordered that local governments close beaches due to the coronavirus pandemic after Abbott signed a disaster declaration due to the coronavirus pandemic, and later issued a statewide “stay home” order which is set to expire Thursday.
Earlier this week, Abbott announced that he will allow the “stay home” order expire Thursday and on Friday the first phase of reopening the Texas economy will begin. In his new executive order to reopen Texas, Abbott encouraged outdoor activities, so long as social distancing guidelines are maintained.
Abbott’s order reads in part:
“This executive order does not prohibit people from... visiting parks, hunting or fishing, or engaging in physical activity like jogging, bicycling, or other outdoor sports, so long as the necessary precautions are maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and to minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household."
As a result, the Texas General Land Office ordered that all of the state’s public beaches be reopened Friday.
Since the executive order signed Monday didn’t explicitly mention beaches, the Texas General Land Office’s order gave more clarity Wednesday.
See the state’s health protocols if you plan to venture out starting Friday: