State agencies prepare for Memorial Day weekend


COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – Many are preparing for Memorial Day weekend and for most, it could possibly be the first real weekend getting back outside and enjoying the city since the coronavirus first struck the state.

South Carolina has been slowly reopening. Governor McMaster has lifted several restrictions allowing people to now eat in restaurants, go shopping and even get a hair cut.

Beaches and lakes were closed and large gatherings restricted for a few weeks in response to the coronavirus crisis, but now that several restrictions have been lifted many things have changed.

“Those restrictions on not being able to anchor, or tie up to other boats, or go out to sand bars, those are all lifted and gone,” explained Major Billy Downer with the SC Department of Natural Resources.

The executive order of 3 or more people is still in place but enforcing agencies are now able to let their guard down just a little since other restrictions on restaurants, close contact businesses and stay at home orders have been lifted.

Major Downer continued, “Does that mean if somebody has 3 or more people in a boat we’re going to tell them to get off the water? No. But that means use common sense, practice social distance and don’t pack up in a boat.”

Sheriff Leon Lott in Richland County explained how his deputies will be patrolling for the weekend in lieu of restrictions still in place and those that have been removed.

“Common sense plays a lot into this. And that’s what we’re telling our deputies.”

Since everything is not reopened, law enforcement will still be looking out for situations that may create a public health risk but state agencies are still encouraging you to use precaution.

Sheriff Lott added, “When you have a large gathering you don’t know who has the virus. So be cautious, wear the mask, practice social distancing.”

The governor announced Wednesday that certain entertainment venues and attractions will be allowed to reopen this weekend. Those attractions include zoos, museums, amusement parks, and aquariums.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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