City, Coronavirus

Charleston beaches’ rules + regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Beach | Image via Pexels

We’ve all got one thing on our minds: the beach. 🏖️ I mean, that’s why we decided to live in Charleston, right?

We have been seeing tons of questions about when beaches will open, what happens if non-residents arrive before checkpoints begin, how social distancing rules are being enforced, and when rentals will begin again.

While it seems rules and regulations have been constantly changing, here is a rundown of checkpoint hours, uses + rules and rental information for each of our local beaches. (Note: this information is subject to change per government and town official rulings.)

Isle of Palms

Checkpoint hours: No checkpoints
Beach uses: Exercise only
Beach rules: Must stand six feet away from others; groups must be no larger than three people; must keep moving at all times; no chairs, blankets or coolers allowed.
Additional info: Disabled citizens with DMV-issued handicap decals are exempt from the exercise only rule.
Updates here.

Folly Beach

Checkpoint hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. May 12-13; Checkpoints removed on Thurs. May 14.
Beach uses: Normal uses. Exercise-only rule lifted May 11.
Beach rules: Must stand six feet away from others; groups must be no larger than three people; must keep moving at all times; no chairs, blankets or coolers allowed.
Updates here.

Sullivan’s Island

Checkpoint hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Beach uses: Exercise only
Beach rules: Must stand six feet away from others; groups must be no larger than three people; must keep moving at all times; no chairs, blankets or coolers allowed.
Updates here.

Kiawah + Seabrook Islands

SC’s private beaches were not affected by Gov. McMaster’s orders to close and/or limit beach access. Both Kiawah and Seabrook beaches remain open for residents to use as long as social distancing + small group rules are followed. More information on Kiawah here, and Seabrook here.

Rental information 

Isle of Palms: Rentals are banned until further notice; city officials hosted the second of a virtual meeting series discussing the phases of re-opening short term rentals yesterday, which can be viewed here.

Folly Beach: Short term rental check-ins will resume Tues., May 12 and will be limited to a six-day minimum stay. Hotels will be limiting capacity.

Sullivan’s Island: Rental decisions are left up to individual homeowners + agencies.

Kiawah Island: Villa + home rentals will resume Sat., May 16

Seabrook Island: New rental check-ins + reservations will resume Sat., May 16.

Important notes:

Beach exercise includes walking, running, swimming, surfing + other physical activities.
Checkpoints prohibit visitors from entering public beaches outside of approved hours and will be regulated by town law enforcement. Exceptions include getting food and going to work.
Rules + regulations remain in effect until further notice from town officials. Not following rules can result in tickets, fines or being sent home, and are clarified on each town’s website.

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