Beach at Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores beach, pictured in a file photo.

GULF SHORES, Ala. (WALA) -- Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft said Thursday morning that his city will close all city-controlled public beaches beginning Friday morning.

The move is being made in response to the growing COVID-19 threat.

The city beaches will be closed starting at 7 a.m. Friday.

Craft told FOX10 News the beaches will be closed at least until April 6. Beyond that date, officials will evaluate whether to extend the closure, he said.

Parking areas will be closed, the mayor said.

"Our goal is primarily to protect our local citizens who are scared to death but also to protect the public that comes here," Craft said.

Baldwin County and state officials are set to meet later Thursday morning to determine whether all Alabama beaches will be closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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