This weekend a test for beachgoers, Lambton Shores mayor says
Published Friday, July 3, 2020 6:10PM EDT Last Updated Friday, July 3, 2020 6:55PM EDT
GRAND BEND -- As temperatures rise in southern Ontario, people are heading to the beach for tanning and swimming.
Beach town mayors say people need to follow the rules if they want to come back to the water.
"This weekend is going to be a real test of how busy we get," Lambton Shores Mayor Bill Weber said.
Grand Bend Beach was packed on Friday with swimmers and sunbathers.
"It's the beach, it's the summer, I'm expecting there to be crowds," Otterville resident Krista Wentzell said.
On Canada Day, thousands of people flooded the beach, many not respecting physical distancing.
"I'm hoping people respect other people and keep the distancing happening," Tillonsburg resident Nikki Vezina said.
Weber said officials will keep a close eye on visitors this weekend.
"If it gets out of hand we certainly will talk about closing it down or restricting it," he said.
Weber suggested checking the beach cameras on their website before heading out the door to avoid overcrowding. He also said rising water levels have taken up a quarter of the beach.
"It makes quite a difference how many people can fit on the beach, especially when you want to maintain six feet," Weber said.
Wasaga Beach had similar overcrowding concerns.
"We saw human behaviour at its worst, quite frankly," Wasaga Beach Deputy Fire Chief Craig Williams said. "Many visitors displayed reckless disregard to public health guidelines when ignoring physical distancing recommendations."
Town officials closed the main beach area and reduced beachfront parking spaces.
Sauble Beach reopened following concerns from local businesses who were losing revenue without tourists heading to the beach.