Galveston beaches will be closed and parking will be blocked on both sides of Seawall Boulevard over the holiday weekend in response to recent increases in cases of COVID-19, and health and safety concerns for our residents and visitors.
Beginning this Friday, July 3, at 5 a.m. through Monday, July 6, at 12:01 a.m., Galveston beaches will be closed to all traffic. People will not be allowed to access Gulf beaches at any location within the City of Galveston. Beaches will reopen Monday morning.
Mayor Jim Yarbrough signed an executive order for the beach closure Wednesday after the city conferred with the Texas General Land Office. The decision to close beaches comes after much deliberation; however, the city feels it is in the best interest of our residents and visitors to close beaches ahead of the busy holiday weekend.
Our local health officials have stated that we are at a critical juncture in this pandemic in Galveston County and the greater Houston region. The decision follows the guidance of medical professionals and comes after Texas Medical Center hospitals entered into Phase 2 surge plans for ICU capacity in neighboring Harris County.
“At this time, based on the current health situation and the guidance of medical professionals, I do not feel it is prudent or responsible to have thousands of visitors descending on Galveston beaches,” Mayor Jim Yarbrough said. “Galveston has and always will be a welcoming destination, but the ongoing public health crisis demands our attention and response. We have to prioritize health and safety.”
The order may be enforced by any peace officer of the Galveston Police Department or City Marshal’s office, and any member of Galveston Island Beach Patrol. Violation of the order is a Class C misdemeanor and carries an up to $500 fine.