Gov. Northam visits Virginia Beach after it reopens in time for Memorial Day weekend

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He has received backlash on social media for not wearing a face mask at the beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WRIC) — Saturday, Gov. Ralph Northam joined crowds at Virginia Beach, which reopened for recreational use for the first time in nearly two months.

The beaches officially reopened on Friday with some restrictions:

  • No gatherings of more than 10 people
  • Parking at garages and surface lots will be capped at 50 percent
  • No group sports like volleyball
  • People can’t bring alcohol, speakers, umbrellas or tents
  • No fishing on sand beaches from the jetty at 1st Street to 42nd Street in the resort area

There are now signs around the beach promoting social distancing and more than 100 “beach ambassadors” were hired to keep visitors in check.

“It’s a great plan, I think it’s working well and I think this can really be a model not only for the rest of the state but the rest of the country on how to do it the right way and how to do it safely and responsibly,” Northam said.

Videos and photos showed the governor came to the beach without a face mask. Northam is currently considering a statewide mandate requiring that Virginians wear protective masks while in public.

Alena Yarmosky, press secretary for the governor, said the Governor has encouraged wearing a face-covering inside or when social distancing is impossible.

“He was outside yesterday and not expecting to be within six feet of anyone,” Yarmosky said. “This is an important reminder to always have face coverings in case situations change — we are all learning how to operate in this new normal, and it’s important to be prepared.”

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