The town of Wasaga Beach is reopening but will look a little different than usual, as members of council approved a new Community Safety Plan.
The plan was passed July 14, and will allow for the sand-covered portion of Beach Drive to open but with the installation of pods.
“Public health and safety has always been our prime concern during the pandemic and that is why we had to close the Beach Drive area earlier this month,” Mayor Nina Bifolchi said. “People were not observing physical distancing and public health was at risk due to COVID-19. This new plan ensures we can manage the space properly, allowing visitors and residents to once again enjoy this part of our waterfront.”
According to the town, council closed the beach on July 2 and reduced municipal beachfront parking to 50% capacity after improper physical distancing occurred the weekends of June 20, June 27, and on Canada Day.
As a result, the town of Wasaga Beach said the sand-covered portion of Beach Drive was fenced and roped off.
“The town established three corridors through the space, allowing public access to the beachfront north of Beach Drive, an area that is part of Wasaga Beach Provincial Park. In establishing a perimeter around the sand-covered portion of Beach Drive, the town created four pods,” it said in a release.
“The town will use these pods to accommodate people wishing to access the area.”
One pod will be designated for residents only.
There is no cost for residents or visitors to access the pods in the Beach Drive Promenade, but a hand stamp will be used to identify pod users for ease of re-entry to the pod.
“Through our plan and the use of our pods we can control access to specific areas of the sand-covered portion of Beach Drive and control physical distancing within the pods,” Bifolchi said.
“Each pod has been assigned a certain capacity based on the amount of space taken up.”
The mayor also thanked beachfront businesses for their patience in a report released by the town.
Some of the town facilities are also open to the public again.
This includes Town Hall, the RecPlex office, Public Works, and the Wasaga Beach Public Library.
Yard sales are permitted in the town and the community garden is open.
Outdoor playgrounds remain closed, but are scheduled to reopen on July 17.