South Padre Island, Cameron County extends shelter-at-home order until May 4; beach to remain closed

Megan Armstrong San Antonio News

The city of South Padre Island will continue to close the beach for recreational activity until May 4 after Cameron County officials extended its stay-in-place order on Monday.

The beach can only be used for exercising purposes and all must be wearing some type of face covering while out in public, according to a news release from South Padre Island.

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While the shelter-in-place order is in effect, new reservations or check-ins to non-essential travelers will not be permitted. Any hotel or short term rental business that violates this order will be subject to a fine up to $1,000.

Earlier this month on April 3, South Padre Island officials enforced a checkpoint for vehicles entering the island due to an increase in traffic and concerned citizens. In addition, extra cameras were added to monitor traffic safety and beach activity, according to a news release from the city.

“Unfortunately, there are hotels, vacation rental companies and individuals that have encouraged travelers to come to the Island and this is putting our community at risk,” South Padre Island Mayor Patrick McNulty said in the release. “People spread the virus and everyone should stay home unless absolutely necessary.”

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Any visitor that chooses to return to their permanent residence will not be penalized for traveling home.

The South Padre Island Police Department is working with the Texas Department of Transportation, the Cameron County District Attorney’s office and other law enforcement agencies to establish the checkpoint.

“This is not a time to be looking for loopholes in the orders,” McNulty said in the release. “The faster we can work together, the faster this horrible time will be over.”

Anyone found to violate the shelter in place order will be subject to a fine up to $1,000 and/or up to 180 days in jail.

Priscilla Aguirre is a general assignment reporter for | [email protected] | @CillaAguirre