GULF SHORES, Ala. (WALA) -- The City of Gulf Shores said it wants to allow small businesses and restaurants to reopen in two weeks.
Mayor Robert Craft said city leaders held discussions with state health officials and the Alabama Small Business Commission Emergency Task Force Subcommittee to come up with recommendations for opening beaches and businesses.
The plan is just a recommendation, as Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey will have to lift statewide shutdown orders before beaches or businesses can reopen.
The Gulf Shores plan would allow small businesses to reopen and food and beverage establishments to offer on-site consumption on May 1 if they follow social distancing guidelines set by the State Health Officer.
Beaches would open for limited recreational use on May 1. People would be allowed to walk, run, swim, surf, fish, or other similar activities as long as social distancing takes place. Congregating on the beach and the use of chairs, tents, or umbrellas would not be allowed.
On May 15, beaches would open for normal activities with social distancing guidelines in place.
Mayor Craft said, "Many of our local businesses, their employees and their families are barely hanging on. Their future is uncertain, federal business assistance programs are now out of money, and their only chance of survival is for us to find a way to begin safely moving forward together."