‘Just doesn’t make sense to me’: Galveston locals, tourists react to beach closures

GALVESTON, Texas – Beach closures because of coronavirus concerns will have Galveston Island looking a little different this holiday weekend.

Josie Walker, the owner of Gino’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria said, “It’s going to hurt a lot of businesses, you know, because some people are not going to come down of course.”

For many businesses on the island, the Fourth of July weekend typically means a big boost to their bottom line.

Walker explained, “I’m sure it would’ve been a lot better than it probably will be, but I mean like I said, safety first.”

Megan Plasek, with the Texas Pit Stop BBQ said, “I mean it is a huge weekend. I know it’s going to be upsetting a lot of people. But we just got to do what we got to do.”

But with city leaders recently announcing beaches would be closed to help stop the spread of COVID-19, it’s tough to know just how good business will be this weekend.

“This has never happened before and we just got to respect the situation and do the best we can,” said Plasek.

Walter Kitchen, who is visiting from Louisiana said, “We were coming here just to hang out for the Fourth of July weekend and we can’t.”

Tourists and locals reacting with mixed feelings about the weekend beach closure.

“That’s why we are here,” said Kitchen. “We can’t go to the beach, so we have to find other things to do.”

Local resident Bill Bryant said, “Look at it. It’s a beautiful day and no one can be on the beach, but you can go into Home Depot and shop. Just doesn’t make sense to me.”

While some are disappointed that they can’t visit the beach, they also say, with the rising number of coronavirus cases, they understand the move by city leaders.

Lashanta Williams, who is also visiting from Louisiana said, “I think a lot of people think it was a joke, I guess, at first. But they have to understand the seriousness of the situation.”

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