Residents living on the coast have begun to see the reopening of beach accesses.

The Department of Human Services in Carteret announced Monday they would immediately open the three county maintained beach access points, which is Salter Path, Radio Island, and Harkers Island.

Assistant County Manager for Carteret Eugene Foxworth said in an email to The Daily News that the decision was made to open the county maintained beach accesses to allow citizens the opportunity to use and enjoy these public resources.


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The reopening does not include all public beach access points, as Carteret director of Human Resources Jaime Long said other jurisdictions will have to evaluate their process for reopening their beach accesses.

In Emerald Isle, officials lifted the temporary restrictions for their beach access for residents and property owners.

The move went into effect April 18, which allows for normal activities including swimming, surfing, kiting, kayaking, and fishing. Residents can walk, jog, and sit on the beach, but must follow all current social distancing guidelines, according to a press release from the town.

Lifeguards will be providing limited beach patrol for the remainder of April, while also displaying ocean condition flags for the immediate area.

The Town of Emerald Isle continues to discourage all tourism travel to the area, and stated public parking areas, restrooms, and playgrounds will remain closed, according to the release.

Emerald Isle is planning to open Third Street and Station Street for public parking on May 9, according to the release.

Atlantic Beach released an update on the town’s website April 24, and continues to follow N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper’s stay-at-home order.

All public beach accesses, including parking lots and restrooms, remain closed, however Town Manager David Walker shed light on the process for reopening.

“We are looking to take a phased approach to reopening, so not everything will reopen all at once,” said Walker.

The town council held a meeting Monday night, broadcast live on Facebook, where Mayor Trace Cooper outlined their plans to fully open beach access by Memorial Day weekend.

On Thursday, Atlantic Beach will end their ban on outside travel, and reopen certain public beach accesses. Public parking at New Bern Avenue and Henderson Boulevard will be opened at half capacity, while The Circle will only open street access parking.

Trace Cooper noted these measures are to allow a low number of visitors, while maintaining social distancing and mass gathering practices.

In Surf City, all public beach accesses are open, however parking lots will remain closed until further notice, per a press release from the town on Monday.

Town Manager Kyle Breuer said Surf City is following the guidance of Roy Cooper’s stay-at-home order, but added the town council is expected to meet on May 5, and the discussion of reopening could be brought up.

As of Monday, Breuer said there is not a timetable to any additional reopens.

Officials in North Topsail Beach updated their website on April 17, stating they continue to prohibit all public beach access.

The North Topsail Beach Board of Aldermen held a special meeting on April 24 to discuss the town’s state of emergency, which is in alignment with the state stay-at-home order. NTB continues to ban all short-term property rentals. The Daily News was unable to reach town officials for comment by deadline.

Officials in Carteret County, Atlantic Beach, Emerald Isle, Surf City, and North Topsail Beach all continue to strongly discourage tourism travel to the beaches at this time.