By Danielle Seat and Riley Bean | September 4, 2020 at 7:13 AM EDT - Updated September 4 at 7:25 AM
FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCSC) - Officials say Folly Beach is ramping up patrols for Labor Day weekend by doubling their normal number of law enforcement officers.
The town says they are expecting a holiday weekend crowd, but some new restrictions are still in place.
Folly Beach Mayor Tim Goodwin says many of the restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic have been lifted on Folly Beach, but not when it comes to gathering in crowds.
Last weekend several tickets were issued because of the large groups of young people who Goodwin says weren’t abiding by the social distancing laws. The current ordinance states that beach-goers cannot gather in groups of three or more unless they are family, he said.
Last weekend law enforcement officers say they issued 28 beach warnings. They say these included not only citations for disobeying social distancing laws, but also violating smoking and alcohol prohibitions.
Officers say they will be enforcing mask requirements inside businesses and outside on the street for those unable to maintain 6 feet from others.
“My message to the business owners is, when you confront people, and you ask somebody politely and they give you a hard time, just say thank you and walk off and call the police,” Goodwin said. “So, when the guy with a badge and a gun shows up, people are usually a little bit better.”
Goodwin says parking restrictions are also still in place on the island and that there is no parking on side streets. He says parking is only allowed in paid lots or along Arctic Avenue.
There will also be no live entertainment after 9 p.m., Goodwin said. But he is expecting a typical holiday weekend crowd of 10,000 to 15,000 cars coming onto the island in a day.
“For 20,000 extra people to pile up on the beach is not unexpected,” Goodwin said. “That’s why we’re trying to help control crowds by the parking regulations, and not close the beach access.”
The Mayor says people have been arriving early to claim a parking spot, so you can expect the lots to fill up quickly.
Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.