IW, Surry beaches remain closed

Published 12:39 pm Wednesday, May 27, 2020

While Gov. Ralph Northam gave the OK for Virginia Beach to reopen its shores to swimmers and sunbathers over Memorial Day weekend, with restrictions, all other beaches in the state — to include Tyler’s Beach and Morgart’s Beach in Isle of Wight County — remain closed until further notice. That is, except for exercise or fishing.

“Staff and law enforcement will continue to monitor beaches in Isle of Wight County as they have for the last couple of months,” said Assistant County Administrator Don Robertson. “We have very limited public beach frontage in our county, and we have not developed a specific plan yet for beaches to reopen.”

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On Saturday, dozens of people were at Tyler’s Beach, but most of them did appear to be swimming or fishing.

“Tyler’s Beach is used by commercial watermen in addition to people fishing along the beach, so we will not be posting any signage closing the beach,” Robertson said. “Staff periodically checks the beach area to educate people and encourage good social distancing. However, like most places, we are heavily relying on people to self-regulate and abide by the governor’s executive orders.”

Virginia’s state parks have also planned a gradual reopening of some facilities according to the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation’s website. However, the beach at Chippokes Plantation in Surry County, which is a state park, remains closed per Northam’s Executive Order No. 55. The DCR website states that Chippokes’ swimming pool and Farm and Forestry Museum also remain closed due to the current COVID-19 restrictions.