GALVESTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Large crowds of people could be seen at beaches in Texas this Memorial Day weekend as the state continues to slowly reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hundreds of cases continue to be reported throughout state per day, but state leaders have allowed the reopening of many businesses and public areas.
Bars were allowed to reopen last Friday at a 25% capacity, while restaurants, which reopened at the beginning of May, were allowed to increase their capacity to 50%
Residents took the opportunity of the long Memorial Day weekend to hit the beach, where social distancing guidelines are also urged to be followed.
At Galveston Beach, crowds could be seen taking in the sun and looking to find some normalcy during the pandemic. However, concerns still remained for officials looking to keep the public safe.
“The major concern is making sure that we don’t have any kind of a spike, that people are following the guidelines. The most we can do is remind them,” Michael Woody, chief tourism officer of Galveston Island, said.
“I see a lot of people, I don’t see any masks. Except for on the press and the first responders… But I have noticed a lot of people are social distancing. The beach gives them a lot of space to spread out in,” Peter Davis, chief of the Galveston Island Beach Patrol, said.
The Galveston Island Beach Patrol said they expect around 250,000 to 500,000 visitors at the beach this Memorial Day weekend.