SEASIDE, Ore. (KOIN) — Seaside is reopening its beach, parks, waterways and trails on Monday at 6 a.m. but it’s not an invitation for out-of-towners to visit.
The Seaside City Council voted unanimously to reopen the areas, days before finding out whether their county had been approved for Phase 1 reopening under Gov. Kate Brown’s framework. Clatsop County has since been given the governor’s OK to move forward.
Seaside Beach is about two miles long and stretches from the Cove area to Necanicum Estuary. The beach, parks, waterways and trails have been closed since March 23 in Seaside. Playgrounds will remain off-limits until Phase 2 requirements are met, Seaside officials said.
However, non-essential travel is still banned statewide meaning lodging is still closed to non-essential workers. City councilors plan to discuss the possible lifting of lodging restrictions on May 20.
The City of Seaside said people need to remember state guidelines as they return to public areas. Social distancing of six feet should still be maintained, face coverings should be worn and good hygiene should be practiced. If you’re sick, stay home.
“It’s great we have a destination that people like to visit and we’re really really thankful for that and we have businesses that are hugely supported by that,” said John Rahl with the City of Seaside. “But it’s too soon to overrun and we really hope that people can be patient with that and slowly, gradually get back to things and not just rush out here.”
Seaside remains under a state of emergency and officials warn of the possibility of starting the stay-home order over again if too many people flock to public areas.
“Things can change really, really quickly when people get an itch to go to the beach and we’re still—yes there’s opening happening—but at the same time we’re asking as we have with our beach closure for people to be mindful of that,” said Rahl.
Businesses in the area are also eager to get back to normal but restaurants, bars and salons will still have to follow specific guidelines and implement social distancing precautions to reopen.
Meanwhile, a group of people are planning to protest the coast closures on Saturday. Seaside officials have been in touch with the organizers and are hoping it will be a peaceful demonstration.
Follow KOIN 6 for the latest news and weather