Volusia County announced plans on Friday to begin a phased re-opening of Volusia’s beaches, starting with vehicle access for people with disabilities and added parking near the beaches. The new rules take effect on Saturday, April 25th.
During a news conference Friday afternoon, County Manager George Recktenwald announced the opening of three ramps to improve beach access for disabled persons who want to participate in permitted physical activities on the beach such as walking and biking. The locations are as follows:
- Williams Avenue in Daytona Beach
- Dunlawton Boulevard in Daytona Beach Shores
- 3rd Avenue in New Smyrna Beach
Only vehicles with current handicapped license plates or placards will be permitted onto the beach at the three ramps. Vehicles will be required to stay within 100 yards of the ramp and must space themselves appropriately from other vehicles. All other beach access ramps remain closed to vehicles at this time. Off-beach parking lots and coastal parks also remain closed. However, beginning Saturday, parking will be permitted on county-controlled rights-of-way near the beach for people who want to park and walk onto the beach – again for permitted physical activity only. Social distancing guidelines continue to apply.
During the news conference, Recktenwald said that continued steps towards re-opening will be coordinated with state and local governments. And he stressed that the public’s continued compliance with health and social distancing guidance will be key.
“Remember, our approach to re-opening the beach and our government is much like how we closed it,” said Recktenwald. “We’ll be doing it in steps, and those steps are dependent on public cooperation.”
County Chair Ed Kelley echoed a similar theme at the news conference, saying the public’s efforts are paying off.
“What has been developed is being done with a lot of care and a lot of thought going into it,” said Kelley. “The actions that we took that were painful, I think, on the safer-at-home seem to be working.”
Also, to help facilitate the ability for people with high-risk jobs such as first responders, medical professionals and essential workers to self-isolate from other family members, the county has temporarily relaxed its ordinance regarding campers and RVs. For the time being, residents in unincorporated Volusia are allowed to park campers and RVs in their driveway.
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