Businesses, visitors support new temporary beach restrictions

Posted at 6:33 PM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-16 19:35:43-04

If you plan on heading to the Island any time soon, keep in mind Nueces County beach restrictions went into effect Thursday morning. The restrictions limit vehicle access on county beaches, and roads leading to the beaches, for just over two weeks.

On the access road leading to Bob Hall Pier, crews have put large sand piles to block entrances to the beaches. Those barricades, however, didn’t stop a number of people from visiting on Thursday afternoon.

“We’re just getting a bit of fresh air,” said Matthew Cutler. “We haven’t been to the beach in a few weeks.”

Nueces County leaders put the vehicle restrictions in place to limit large crowds and help slow the spread of COVID-19.

City beaches -- North Beach and McGee Beach -- also will have restrictions. This is the third time this year restrictions like this have been put in place.

For businesses on the island, they’re simply riding the 2020 novel coronavirus wave.

“As a business, we took a heavy hit on the (Fourth of July holiday weekend),” said Padre Poke Jessica Chappell owner. “We’re going to take a heavy hit this time. But we’re ready, and we’re better prepared.”

Chappell’s business has been open for about a year and she says she’s already seen the restrictions’ impacts. She also said she expects business to drop about 60 percent in the next two weeks.

“I think a lot of island businesses are going to suffer, and it’s unfortunate, but I think it’s what’s best for the community,” she said. “We need to stop the spread and that’s the only way to do it, it seems like at this point.”

Chappell and other beachgoers KRIS 6 News spoke to Thursday believe the restrictions are all in the public’s best interest.

“I would rather not have money coming in, and not have people get sick and die,” she said.

“It’s a bad situation we’ve got here in Corpus Christi,” said Cutler. “And they need to do something about stopping people coming.”

“I think (beach restrictions) it’s a good idea to an extent,” said another beachgoer. “It will limit people coming out here because of the whole car situation.”

Corpus Christi City Manager Peter Zanoni said the city has requested to restrict access to Padre Island National Seashore, but it’s currently pending under federal rule.

The restrictions will be lifted on Aug. 1 at sunrise.