BRUNSWICK COUNTY — While New Hanover County has started requiring retailers to close off “non-essential” areas of their stores, Brunswick County does not have plans to issue its own coronavirus-related restrictions.
State-issued orders remain in effect.
Brunswick County is under a state of emergency as of March 24. Though the county has not required any restrictions in addition to state orders, the county strongly encourages residents to avoid non-essential travel and asks them to avoid inviting out-of-county visitors.
“At this time I do not see a need to implement county-wide restrictions beyond those issued by the Governor,” Commissioner Frank Williams wrote in a statement Wednesday.
Local municipalities in Brunswick County have issued their own temporary rules that take the state’s existing orders a few steps further. The public beach strand is closed from Holden Beach southward, under local mandates, through the entire South Carolina coastline, under state mandate.
Governor Roy Cooper has hinted in press conferences this week that the state may issue official restrictions for retailers to abide by but has not yet done so. He commended retailers that have taken extra steps, like grocery chains that have required only 10 shoppers inside at a time and enforce 6-foot distance requirements. He said he hoped more retailers will consider doing the same.
New Hanover County’s March 28 order quickly followed the governer’s stay-at-home order, with several more restrictive positions. Among them included the requirement that essential retailers close off portions of their stores that sell non-essential goods to the best of their abilities. Wednesday, New Hanover County clarified which goods are deemed non-essential: “furniture, clothing (except for specific clothing used to make cloth masks), sporting goods, toys (for people or pets), music, movies, greeting cards, and party supplies.”
The local order also closed motels, hotels, boat and auto dealerships, public gardens, playgrounds, and team sports facilities. On April 3, the county closed all public and private boat ramps and marinas.