Beachgoers flock to Wrightsville Beach after town loosens restrictions

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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — As the coronavirus pandemic continues into late April, some area beach towns are easing restrictions.

Wrightsville Beach, along with other New Hanover County beach towns, closed beaches on March 20. Anyone caught on the beach faced a fine of up to $650 plus potential court costs.

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Now one month later, people are once again allowed to enjoy the surf and sand.

“We’re just out here to have some fun,” said aspiring surfer Carson Lorek. “I’m just sick of being inside all of the time, you know what I mean?”

“We’ve been waiting for this every day, right across the street is where we live,” said Wrightsville Beach resident Tony Kunkle as he walked along the beach with his two kids Andrew and Liam. “We’ve been looking out here waiting every day to see it, and it was like ‘Yeah!'”



However, there are still restrictions as to what activity is allowed on the beach. Right now, only non-stationary exercise activities like walking, jogging, swimming, and surfing/water sports are allowed.

Restrictions aside, many are just happy to be enjoying nature again.

“We come here every winter for two to three months, so this has been the first time that we were not able to participate in beach activities,” said visitor Darlene Barteli. “And let me tell you, this is a holiday.”

Anyone caught sunbathing, sitting, fishing, or gathering in groups larger than 10 could face a class 2 misdemeanor and/or a $500 civil fine for each violation. All public beach parking remains closed.

The town also says people violating these restrictions could lead to another beach closure.

“I think the people around here are going to adhere to it,” Kunkle said. “And everybody seems like they got a better head on their shoulders, especially with this being more of a private type beach with more of the locals here.”

Click here for more information about the restrictions.