Beach Closings

Islands close to Visitors


With the recent COVID-19 or coronavirus outbreak there has been a recent shutdown of public places. This started with restaurants but recently places such as parks and beaches have closed down. The first beach to close to the public was Folly Beach which started on Friday the 20th. Soon after hearing this Isle of Palms decided to close access to everyone except residents on the island starting on March 21. Sullivans Island, however, was a more tricky process. 

It was determined originally that the island would stay open but the beaches would be closed to everyone. However, after an extensive number of complaints from residents of Sullivan’s Island, the town decided to close the island to everyone except residents like  Folly and Isle of Palms. 

With the final beach in the Charleston area closing people began to get upset and speak their minds. One student said, “This is b.s., if we can’t go there then they shouldn’t be able to come to Mt. Pleasant”. However, they are not the only one that has said this. I have heard this argument many times including another student who said: “they can’t stop me from going; I’ll just swim.  Although this may be an exaggeration of the truth it does provide an example of how upset people are getting.

The reasoning behind this is what people need to understand. The town of each island only had two choices. First being to close the beach to everyone or close the island allowing residents to go on the beach. These were the only options because there is no way to enforce who was on the beach meaning no one could be on it, the only way to do this would be the second option where they restrict the public from the island by placing checkpoints at the entrance roads. 

Folly has said that it plans to reopen on March 31 and Sullivan’s plans to reopen May 21 but these dates are subject to change depending on the coronavirus. Another little known fact is that these beaches are only closed during daylight hours so they are still open in the night hours meaning you can walk the beach in the dark if you please. But some places like Sullivan’s Island have curfews which will limit the hours you are allowed to do this.


At the publication of this article, controversy has arisen.  The SC Attorney General, Alan Wilson, released an opinion saying that the only person who could make these decisions was the Governor.  Upon this revelation, Folly opened its doors again. On Saturday morning, protesters could be seen asking people to stay home and to reenact the shutdown.  The Governor is expected to address this issue soon.