Texas' phase one of reopening began last Friday, right around the time the weather was finally starting to go from dreary to sunny. With this being the case, locals crowded newly opened Texas beaches this weekend in hopes of soaking up the sun and get their tan on for possibly the first time all year. When the sun comes out and the water gets warm, lots of visitors want to enjoy the long stretches of sand, and that was definitely the case in the past few days.
Galveston Island, Surfside Beach, and others along the Bolivar Peninsula were flooded with people this weekend, the first since Texas' stay-at-home orders were put in place in response to the novel coronavirus.
Both areas are incredibly popular spots to visit this time of year, and officials took efforts to make sure people kept their distance from each other.
Despite Texas being reopened, social distancing is still strongly encouraged as the state is only in phase one. Phase two will only take place on May 18 if all goes well during these two weeks.
Staying six feet apart from each other at a massive beachfront shouldn't be difficult, but it all depends on how many people are there.
[rebelmouse-image 25979745 photo_credit="Bolivar Peninsula | Facebook" expand=1 original_size="1622x902"]
Above, you can see a screenshot from a live video of Saturday at Crystal Beach on the Bolivar Peninsula.
The entire live video can be found on their Facebook page.
Cars are parked side-by-side, nearly bumper-to-bumper, with large amounts of people unpacking to bring all of their belongings down to the sand.
Above is live footage of Galveston Island over the weekend, where you can see cars piled on top of each other trying to get in.
The video shows that visitors were doing their best to keep their distance while on the beach, with towels and umbrellas being placed at spacious distances from each other.
[rebelmouse-image 25979746 photo_credit="Bolivar Peninsula | Facebook" expand=1 original_size="1606x898"]
A screenshot of Friday footage of Crystal Beach on the Bolivar Peninsula is seen above, and as with the last two videos and images, there are copious amounts of beachgoers enjoying their time on the sand.
At the rate at which this is going, Texas could have many weekends ahead that look just like this. Only time and official reports will tell if this behavior will result in a spike in COVID-19 cases to the point of not being able to continue onto phase two.
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.