In light of overcrowding, Goderich mayor enforces beach capacity limits
Published Sunday, July 5, 2020 6:28PM EDT
GODERICH, ONT. -- Goderich beach is a hot spot for visitors and locals trying to cool down from the summer heat.
But with overcapacity and overcrowding becoming a fear for city officials, they are now warning visitors that if the beach reaches is nearing full capacity, some will not be allowed access.
With COVID-19 rules and regulations limiting the amount of people allowed to gather together and enforcing physical distancing measures, the Mayor of Goderich, John Grace says that overcrowding is becoming a fear the town is ready to combat.
“It has been a bit of a task in that we can’t just let it be and grow, we have to be down here, we have to be managing it with staff. We want to make sure that everyone is social distancing and that the group sizes aren’t larger than ten,” says Grace.
Grace says that staff will block off the road towards the waterfront if space on the sand becomes an issue.
If the beach is announced to be closed those already on the beach will not be asked to evacuate.
“It grew really fast and we ran into a capacity issue but that’s okay - we had a plan to open up but we also had a plan to close,” says Grace.
Grace says the peak hours for activity in the beach are between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. A person is most likely to be turned around between that time period.
John Deoliveira is a long-time visitor of the beach and knew to set up camp early.
“We got here this morning at 10 a.m. and we had a spot no problem, we noticed that we were here yesterday at 11 a.m. and by 2 p.m. it had gotten quite packed so we wanted to make sure we got a good spot today,” says Deoliveira.
The mayors says he will work to update the public throughout the day but ultimately warns visitors that they could be turned away if the beach is nearing full capacity.
Grace adds that everyone who has been turned away has been respectful.