Holiday bummer

Beloved Texas beaches close for 4th of July weekend due to COVID-19

Beloved Texas beaches close for 4th of July weekend due to COVID-19

Galveston beach with umbrellas
The City of Galveston made the move in response to growing COVID-19 cases. Photo courtesy of Galveston Island Visitors & Convention Bureau

Vacationers hoping to while away the 4th of July weekend on a Galveston beach will have to look elsewhere. Ditto those looking to escape to Port Aransas, South Padre, and other popular Texas beach destinations.

On July 1, the City of Galveston announced the closure of all beaches, plus parking on both sides of Seawall Boulevard. The move is in response to increases of cases of COVID-19, according to a city press release. 

The beaches will close on Friday, July 3, at 5 am through Monday, July 6, at 12:01 am. Visitors will not be allowed to access Gulf beaches at any location within the City of Galveston. 

Galveston Mayor Jim Yarbrough signed the executive order for the beach closure on July 1 after the city conferred with the Texas General Land Office, according to a statement. 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,” Yarbrough said in a statement. “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.” 

Those who violate the order will face a Class C misdemeanor and up to a $500 fine.

Elsewhere along the Texas coast, Padre Island National Seashore will be temporarily closed for the weekend beginning at 8 pm Thursday through 6 am Tuesday, reports Corpus Christi ABC affiliate KIII-TV.

Rockport Beach, Mustang Island, North Padre Island, South Padre Island, Corpus Christi, and Port Aransas will all close or severely restrict beaches to visitors this weekend.

Travelers planning a beach getaway should check the area before they go.