Town of Seabrook Island Issues Public Advisory #18 on COVID-19; Rental Restrictions to Expire Saturday, Town Hall to Reopen May 18th
May 15, 2020 -- 9:00 pm
Rental Restrictions Expire at Midnight on Saturday
On April 1, 2020, Seabrook Island Town Council adopted Emergency Ordinance No. 2020-01, which prohibited new check-ins and reservations for short-term rental units through April 30th. The ordinance was subsequently amended by Town Council to extend these restrictions until 11:59 pm on Friday, May 15th. The temporary prohibition on short-term rentals will expire at midnight on Saturday, and rental guests will once again be permitted on Seabrook Island.
As rental guests begin returning to the island, it is important for everyone – residents, property owners and visitors – to remain aware of the risks posed by COVID-19. While the growth rate of new cases across the state has leveled off, the actual number of new cases continues to grow on a daily basis. Whether at the beach, the grocery store, the golf course or a local restaurant, residents and visitors should continue to protect themselves – and each other – by adhering to all recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. (See below for more information)
In order to protect the health and safety of property owners and their rental guests, owners and managers of short-term rental units within the town are strongly advised to implement enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols, such as those recommended by the Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA) and Vacation Rental Housekeeping Professionals (VRHP): Cleaning Guidelines for COVID-19.
Seabrook Island Town Hall to Reopen on Monday
Seabrook Island Town Hall will reopen to the public beginning at 8:00 am on Monday, May 18th. At this time, public access to the building will be limited to the lobby only. To maintain social distancing, no more than two customers will be allowed inside at any point in time. Town staff will implement enhanced cleaning practices; however, visitors are encouraged to wear masks and gloves for their own protection. The restrooms at Town Hall will be temporarily closed to the public. All public meetings – including Town Council, board, commission and committee meetings – will continue to be held “virtually” for the foreseeable future.
The town encourages residents, property owners, business owners and contractors to continue using “virtual services” to the greatest extent possible. For assistance during normal operating hours (Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm), please contact us by phone at (843) 768-9121 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For your convenience, the town has also located a drop box on the front porch at Town Hall.
Status of Beaches and Pools
The beaches of Seabrook Island remain open for recreational activities. When visiting the beach, beachgoers are reminded that groups of more than 10 individuals are prohibited at all times. This requirement applies to ALL groups, including members of the same family or household. All individuals, regardless of whether visiting the beach alone or in a group, should practice social distancing by maintaining a minimum separation of 6 feet from others. The town’s beach patrol and code enforcement officers are authorized to enforce these requirements and may order the dispersal of large groups. Violators are also subject to fines of up to $500.00 per day (plus state assessments and surcharges) upon conviction.
All public pools on the island, including those at the Beach Club, the Community Center and the Lake House, are currently closed.
On Monday, May 11th, Governor Henry McMaster announced that public and commercial pools will be able to reopen in a limited capacity beginning on Monday, May 18th. Earlier this week, the state released its Interim Guidelines for the Re-opening Public Swimming Pools. Under these guidelines, facilities should allow no more than 20% of normal occupancy or 5 people per 1,000 square feet of pool and deck area, whichever is less.
All pools on the island are privately owned and managed by the Seabrook Island Club, Seabrook Island Property Owners Association and individual associations and regimes. All decisions on whether, when and how these pools will be reopened will be at the discretion of each pool owner.
Protect Yourself and Others
To minimize the risk of exposure and to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the CDC recommends that individuals take the following precautions:
For general questions about COVID-19, please contact the SCDHEC Care Line at (855) 472-3432. Staff will be available to answer calls from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm seven days a week.
For the most reliable information about COVID-19, including what to do if you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms, residents are strongly encouraged to visit official resources, including the SCDHEC and CDC websites.
Official updates from the Town of Seabrook Island will continue to be posted on the following channels:
Property owners and managers with rental guests should forward this information to their rental guests.