By Gaige Davila
The City of South Padre Island will continue restricting the space between umbrellas on the beach through July, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Cameron County.
In the order’s extension, a new rule has been added: no setups in the 15 feet of space between umbrellas.
South Padre Island Councilperson Joe Ricco said beach vendors noticed beachgoers were setting down in the space between the umbrellas, noting he had also noticed the phenomena this past week.
“The umbrellas are 15 feet apart, but we have other guests now encroaching in that space and setting up,” Ricco said. “That’s defeating the purpose of the 15 feet spacing.”
The order was extended and modified during a special emergency meeting on July 7.
The initial emergency order was issued June 30, in a special emergency meeting. South Padre Island City Council voted 5-to-1 to order all shade structures to be 15 feet away from each other on the beach. The shade structures, according to the order, can be only single-poled, with two persons maximum underneath. Any canopies with several poles or frames are not allowed on the beach, according to the order.
In a text message to the PRESS before the July 7 meeting, South Padre Island Mayor Patrick McNulty said he wanted to see the order extend through the end of July, noting he observed people following the orders.
“I think it went extremely well, considering it was implemented with very little notice to the general public,” he said.
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