State Watch

GA mayor slams Kemp's executive order reopening state's beaches


The mayor of Tybee Island - one of Georgia's most popular beach destinations - ripped Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's (R) executive order on Saturday to reopen some of the state's beaches while the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep across the country.

"Tybee City Council and I are devastated by the sudden directives and do not support his decisions. The health of our residents, staff and visitors are being put at risk and we will pursue legal avenues to overturn his reckless mandate," Mayor Shirley Sessions said in a statement.

She added: "While the beaches have to reopen under the Governor's order, Tybee will not have beach access and parking lots will remain closed until further notice."

The small vacation town closed its beaches on March 20 due to the outbreak.

Kemp tweeted a photo of the Tybee Island's beaches, saying that local and state officials hadn't reported any problems while patrolling the land and surrounding areas.


Per Kemp's executive order, Georgia residents can exercise on the beaches that have been reopened as long as they practice proper social distancing.

The state's Department of Natural Resources previously put limits on beachgoers, requiring social distancing and prohibiting chairs, umbrellas or tents on the beaches until at least April 13.