South Carolina retail stores, public beach access to reopen; McMaster creates new economic plan


COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSAV) – Governor Henry McMaster has lifted orders that closed public beach access and retail stores in South Carolina, the governor announced Monday at a press conference.

McMaster said all public beach access will reopen at noon on Tuesday, and social distancing must still be followed. The governor says law enforcement can ask groups larger than three people to disband.

McMaster said he spoke with all coastal mayors before making the decision, and local mayors now face the decision to reopen their beaches or keep them closed.

In addition to public beach access, retail stores will also reopen. The order that closed furniture stores, shoe stores, department stores, music stores, sporting goods stores, craft stores, flea markets and florists is cancelled as of 5 p.m. Monday.

McMaster said small retail stores must follow the same social distancing guidelines issued to big box stores and hardware stores, meaning stores must only allow inside 20% of their occupancy or five customers per 1,000 square feet.

All other executive orders, including McMaster’s “Home or Work” order, remain in effect.

The governor announced an economic revitalization plan called accelerateSC. The plan features a volunteer group of 30 business leaders, healthcare professionals, local government officials and education professionals.

AccelerateSC will also help South Carolinians find resources about the coronavirus easier.

McMaster and Lt. Governor Pamela Evette will attend and lead the first meeting of accelerateSC on Thursday.

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