Boaters and beachgoers, beware: S.C., Ga. restrictions remain in place

Officials say a black man fell overboard from a pontoon boat. (MGN)
Officials say a black man fell overboard from a pontoon boat. (MGN)(WJHG)
Published: Apr. 30, 2020 at 12:43 PM EDT
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Thursday, April 30, 2020

Officials in South Carolina and Georgia say that just because businesses are reopening, that doesn't mean coronavirus restrictions have been lifted in all outdoor spaces.

In Georgia

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has issued an order that extends current beach restrictions.

The order is in place through May 6. It means that even if the shelter-in-place order expires Thursday night, people can still only go to the beach to get exercise. Chairs, tents, umbrellas, and coolers are all prohibited on the beach.

Game wardens will continue to actively patrol the beaches as they have been doing over the past month.

In South Carolina

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources says Gov. Henry McMaster’s extension of the state of emergency order prohibits beaching or rafting of boats.

The executive order -- meant to promote social distancing and cut the risks of spreading coronavirus -- is expected to expire May 12.

In other words, boaters will not be allowed to stop on beaches, sandbars, or islands. Instead, boaters must keep their boat drifting at all times unless you are actively fishing or under critical circumstances.

However, boaters will not be allowed to legally anchor and swim.

Also, the state will keep the following properties closed:

• The islands that make up the Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center (This includes both the ocean-facing South Island and North Island, as well as Cat Island on the ICW) in Georgetown County

• Cedar Island and Murphy Island at Santee Coastal Reserve WMA in Georgetown County

• Capers Island Heritage Preserve in Charleston County

• The beach/beach access at Botany Bay Plantation Heritage Preserve & WMA in Charleston County

• South Fenwick Island in the ACE Basin NERR in Colleton County

• The islands that make up the St. Helena Sound Heritage Preserve and WMA (including Pine Island, Otter Island, Ashe Island, Beet Island, Warren Island, Big Island, Buzzard Island, North Williman Island and South Williman Island) in the ACE Basin

• Daws Island Heritage Preserve on the Broad

From reports by WTOC and WIS.