Victoria Beach in Cobourg is now closed for the entire summer.
At a special meeting on Monday (June 1), Cobourg town council voted unanimously to close the popular beach until Monday, August 31st, to ensure both residents and visitors comply with emergency orders prohibiting social gatherings and health directives on physical distancing.
“This was an incredibly difficult decision to make and I, along with the rest of council, listened and engaged with many citizens on this important matter,” says Cobourg mayor John Henderson.
“The beach is a popular gathering area starting around this time of year, and for the time being, we want to continue to reduce the spread of COVID-19 within our community. During these unprecedented times it is the health and safety of our citizens that will always come first.”
Municipal staff will be installing metal fencing and barriers, with emergency access points as necessary. Cobourg police and municipal by-law enforcement officers will continue to educate the public while increasing enforcement along the waterfront.
“At this time, we are using our patrols to proactively engage with the public and inform them of the recent beach closure,” said Cobourg police chief Paul VandeGraaf.
“Once fencing and signage are installed, making it clear that the beach is closed, individuals found trespassing on Victoria Beach will be charged.”
Provincial fines for trespassing are set at $65.
Town council has also directed muncipal staff to report back at the June 22nd meeting with statistics on waterfront area activities and any other areas of concern that may arise due to the beach closure. The report will also include recommendations on how to safely reopen the beach with restricted use, along with cost estimates, for council’s consideration.
Walk-through access at the Victoria Beach boardwalk and West Beach boardwalk remain open.