COVID-19 | Update #18

The Isle of Palms City Council held an emergency City Council meeting today, Monday April 20, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. to discuss and consider possible amendments to Emergency Ordinance 2020-02 and implement further measures to protect the citizens of the Isle of Palms.

Today, Governor McMaster lifted Executive Order 2020-16 which required the closing of public beach access paths subject to restrictions imposed by local governments. Read the Executive Order. All Charleston area coastal communities will continue checkpoint operations at this time. The City of Isle of Palms entry access restrictions will continue through April 30th, 2020. Details on the entry access criteria are included below.

The restricted access is intended to reduce large crowds gathering on the beach, lessen the chance of the virus spreading and spiking throughout the greater Charleston community, and protect our first responders and residential community.

City Council approved an emergency ordinance to implement effective noon on April 21st, 2020, for those on the island (residents, property owners, etc. per the entry guidelines), the beach will be open for exercise only. Permitted exercise: Running, walking, dog-walking, biking, surfing, and other recreational activities consistent with social distancing. Sunbathing, loitering without moving and groups of more than 3 people will be prohibited. There is an exemption for disabled citizens with the appropriate DMV issued handicap decal.

City Council will meet again at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 to determine a gradual reopening strategy for City facilities, including City Hall, the Recreation Center and the beach.

The following information, regulations and restrictions are still in place:

Short - Term Rentals, Hotels and Overnight Accommodations

No new check-ins are permitted for Short Term Rentals, Hotels and other Overnight Accommodations beginning 10:00 a.m., March 26, 2020 through April 30, 2020. Violating these emergency measures may result in a fine of up to $1,087 and/or 30 days in jail and revocation of business license.

Access Restrictions

  • Access to the island is restricted between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. through April 30th, 2020 to the following:
  • Residents and property owners of the island with a current parking decal or any other proof of residency or ownership.
    • 2019 and 2020 resident parking decals, hurricane re-entry stickers, Wild Dunes resident sticker.
    • Police Department will temporarily stop issuing in person residential beach parking permits and passes. Residents who apply for their residential parking decal online will receive their permits and passes via us mail.
  • Relatives and/or friends of residents only in a vehicle with a resident with a current parking decal or proof of residency readily visible on or near the vehicle.
  • Caretakers
  • Contractors with current business licenses
  • Service workers with current decals
  • Delivery personnel, including but not limited to pharmacy, FedEx, UPS, Amazon, USPS
  • Any person delivering essential medical services, including caregivers
  • Employees and suppliers of local business, including but not limited to, grocery stores, restaurants, contractors, property managers.

Assistance for Businesses

  • All deadlines imposed by City Ordinance shall be suspended until July 15, 2020.
  • A temporary exemption of the plastics ban ordinance is in place for businesses during the state of emergency.
  • The City has compiled a list of resources available to businesses to support economic retention and recovery related to the novel outbreak.

City Operations and Other Information:

  • Police and Fire Departments continue with normal operations and continue taking necessary measures to protect personnel from exposure and infection of COVID-19. Please call the non-emergency number at (843) 886-6522 rather than walk-in for non-emergency questions.
  • The Recreation Center will be closed starting Monday, March 16th until further notice. All recreational and athletic programs/classes and events will be postponed until further notice.
  • City Hall offices will be closed to the public starting on Tuesday, March 17th.
    • City Hall staff will work remotely and staggered schedules to increase physical distance among employees and between employees and others.
    • The City encourages all citizens to delay non-essential business and walk-in customer service to City Hall.
    • Parking and Court fines can be paid online or by mail to PO Drawer 508 Isle of Palms, South Carolina.
    • Other payments can be made online via credit card or through the drop box in the lobby of City Hall, or by mail to PO Drawer 508 Isle of Palms, South Carolina.
    • Specific staff contact information is available on the City's website here. Every effort will be made to accommodate residents remotely.
  • The Building Departments is processing building permits and business licenses via phone, email, and using the forms page here. Please call (843) 886-9912 for more information.
  • Police Department will temporarily stop issuing in person residential beach parking permits and passes. Residents who apply online will receive their permits and passes via us mail.
  • As of now, household garbage collection will operate on a normal schedule. However, this is subject to any closure at the Charleston County Bee's Ferry Landfill site.
  • The Isle of Palms Marina and Breach Inlet boat ramp for launching and retrieving was opened at noon on Friday, April 17th. All recreational activity is prohibited with the exception of individuals having a current and valid commercial fishing license.
  • Municipal Court has been canceled and is being postponed to a later date. Notices will be mailed this week. For questions or more information, please email Amy Wilkerson Lee, Clerk of Court, at
  • The Isle of Palms County Park is closed. Visit their Alert Center for updates.
  • The public restrooms located in Front Beach will be temporarily closed until further notice.
  • Charleston County School District has extended school closures through the end of April. they continue to provide free "grab and go" lunches to all students (whether or not they previously qualified for free or reduced lunch).