BROWNSVILLE — Cameron County parks and beach access will remain closed through the Labor Day weekend, though they will begin reopening the day after.
That’s according to County Judge Eddie Trevino Jr., speaking at a Friday press conference. On Sept. 8, beach access will be reopened, as will certain parks, though parking capacity at the parks will be limited to 50 percent at first, he said. At Boca Chica Beach and County Access 5 and 6, vehicles must be parked at least 20 feet from each other, Trevino said.
“We’re going to see what happens with Labor Day,” he said. “I hope that there is no spike, and if that’s the case we can continue reopening of beaches.”
Trevino said he asked South Padre Island leaders to close the city beach accesses over the long weekend as a safety measure, though the answer was no.
“They advised me that they would not do that but that they would strictly enforce the regulations and mandates that they have in place with regards to the use of the umbrellas, the distancing between the umbrellas, no congregation of families and mandatory face masks,” he said.
“If you insist on going out to the beach this weekend the city beaches will be the only ones that you’ll have access to. We will continue to have the county beaches (access) closed through Monday.”
Trevino said the county has asked SpaceX to adjust its testing schedule to allow S.H. 4 to stay open and the public to visit Boca Chica Beach during daylight hours, now that it will be reopened. The county has kept Boca Chica and its other beach access points closed for several weeks, despite numerous public complaints, in order to get control of COVID-19, which has pervaded the Rio Grande Valley.
Another change is that the county curfew will begin at midnight rather than 11 p.m., Trevino said, adding that other parts of the county’s emergency order will remain in place, including mandatory use of facial coverings, limits on gatherings, sheltering in place, avoiding crowds, washing hands frequently and so on.
He said the “new normal” is wearing masks, social distancing and avoiding crowds. It’s up to the behavior of each county resident whether things continue reopening, Trevino said.
“If you don’t do that we’re going to be right back here,” he said.