Myrtle Beach skyline

File photo of the Myrtle Beach skyline.

The Myrtle Beach Police Department is working to stop crowding on the city's beaches and educate the public on current guidelines in place following a directive from Gov. Henry McMaster.

The governor on Friday tweeted he has directed the S.C. Law Enforcement Division and other police agencies in the state to disperse crowds gathered on South Carolina beaches to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

People can still visit the beach, but are told to practice social distancing.

Unless authorized or in their homes, individuals are instructed not to congregate in groups of three or more and follow an officer's order if asked to disperse.

An offender could be charged with a misdemeanor.

In a news release, Myrtle Beach Police Chief Amy Prock said the MBPD has gotten reports of large groups and illegal activity on beaches in the city's north end.

"To be clear, the beach is not being kept open for economic benefit," her message reads.

"Closing it is simply not required at this point, as neither the Governor nor the President has suggested that wide open spaces, such as the beach, be closed to the public."

Prock added, "Most of our beach visitors are in compliance."

The MBPD has increased its beach patrols and is working with Coastal Carolina University police to help educate students.

The agency is focused on education and compliance, Prock stated.

Violators are subject to citation or arrest.

"This is about the safety of the whole community and we hope our responsible citizens and visitors will work with us on this effort," Prock stated.

Her statement stresses that illegal activity is not tolerated in the city.

"We take pride in our community and are proud of the efforts that we are taking to be part of the solution to this crisis," Prock stated.

"Everyone in our community, visitors included, have a part to play in the safety of Myrtle Beach. Understanding and personal responsibility are the keys to reducing the impacts of COVID-19 and maintaining our beautiful community."

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(1) comment

Rbc50

I walked the beach today and there were many groups of more than 3 sitting around. I saw a police car drive by and they did nothing to disperse these groups.

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