By Gaige Davila
On the same day Texas Governor Greg Abbott lifted mask and business occupancy mandates statewide, the City of South Padre Island has rescinded their beach restrictions just as spring break approaches.
Beachgoers no longer have to distance themselves fifteen feet from each other. Canopies are now allowed on the beach, with as many chairs under them as their owners want. Beach vendors can now also rent out canopies and pre-set multiple beach chairs and umbrellas.
The order was effective until April 8, until South Padre Island Mayor Patrick McNulty rescinded the order on Mar. 10.
Though the beaches will be free to roam in, the big-name concerts and large beach parties of past spring breaks will remain in said past. The city rescinded special event permits until April 15.
In a press release, McNulty said he anticipated more families coming to the Island than college students.
“I don’t think we will see the Spring Breaks of the past,” McNulty’s statement reads. “This will give the island the opportunity to showcase itself as a family destination.”
On the other side of the Causeway, the City of Port Isabel reopened all of its city parks and opened its business capacity to 100 percent, in line with Abbott’s order, on Mar. 10.
Face masks are still required inside Port Isabel restaurants and retail businesses, however, The same goes for Cameron County.
Cameron County Eddie Treviño Jr. issued the county’s 14th emergency management order on Mar. 10, requiring all within the county above 10-years-old to wear face masks when in public, defying the governor’s statewide order.
The county can do this, though, due to a metric established in Abbott’s revised declaration in the Texas Disaster Act: if 15 percent of a county’s hospitals’ residents are COVID-19 hospitalizations, a judge can enact their own disaster ordinances.
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