VANCOUVER -- The City of White Rock is reopening several facilities this week, including its seaside promenade that's been closed for months.

The waterfront area along Marine Drive was fenced off in March over concerns that people weren't keeping appropriate physical distance, and officials said the fencing will remain on location even after the reopening in case they need to shut it down again.

The city is also reopening half of the parking along the waterfront, a move intended to encourage people to visit restaurants, shops and salons. In an update on its website, the city said it's "balancing the need to support businesses and residents with reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19."

Mayor Darryl Walker told CTV News it's crucial that people continue maintaining distance and taking personal precautions to avoid forcing officials to reverse their decision to reopen. He compared the current progress in containing COVID-19 to getting good marks halfway through a semester at school.

"It's only October and yeah, you've done really well in class so far but you don't get your marks until December," he said. "So please, help us to help everybody… by taking care of yourself, I believe you're taking care of everyone else."

Residents said they were excited to hear of the promenade reopening, but some also expressed concerns that visitors wouldn't follow the rules.

"I'm just hoping people will behave themselves and keep their distances. I've had to shout at a few people," Norman Morisseau said with a laugh.

Councillors voted Monday on the reopening plans, which do not include the iconic White Rock pier. That is expected to remain closed until the next phase of the province's pandemic response.

Officials said the removal of fencing at the waterfront will take several days, as there are kilometres of panels to take down.

With files from CTV News Vancouver's Regan Hasegawa