Earlier today, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that New York would reopen beaches for Memorial Day weekend in coordination with three other states, including Delaware, New Jersey, and Connecticut. According to CNBC, people will be expected to maintain six feet of social distance between one another, and concession stands will remain closed for the time being. Beaches will only be permitted to reach 50 percent capacity.
In addition to beaches reopening, lake shores will also be opened for the holiday weekend. However, public pools are to remain closed for the time being. Beachgoers will be required to wear masks, and no contact sports, like touch football or volleyball, will be permitted.
The reason the four states are working together on this decision is that the other states were reportedly planning to reopen, and Cuomo was concerned New Yorkers would flood the beaches over the weekend, causing congestion. He added that they are a “multistate region” and what one area does will affect the others.
“One state doesn’t open beaches, another state does open beaches, you will see people flood to that state,” said Cuomo.
On Thursday, the New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced that the Jersey Shore would begin opening with restrictions in place ahead of Memorial Day.
The article notes that local governments with authority over their own waterfronts will be able to make their own decisions on reopening. However, if they do decide to reopen, they must adhere to the state’s requirements and should decide on opening for Memorial Day by May 20 at the latest.
Unfortunately for New York City residents, it does not sound like Mayor Bill de Blasio intends to reopen beaches in the city limits for the holiday.
“We are reviewing the guidelines the Governor laid out and will make all decisions based on the safety of New Yorkers. Beaches will not open on Memorial Day, but we are putting plans into place so that we can open beaches this summer if it’s safe,” the mayor’s spokesperson, Jane Meyers, said.
Among the beaches under the New York City jurisdiction are Coney Island Beach, Orchard Beach, and Rockaway Beach.
Multiple New York regions have met the seven metrics of the “New York State on PAUSE” policy and have been given the go-ahead to commence phase one of reopening.
The Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley, the North Country, and Central NY are ready to begin Phase 1 of reopening tomorrow.
The others can be UN-PAUSED the moment they hit their benchmarks.
New Yorkers be proud. Your actions bent the curve. pic.twitter.com/zSJ5YpyTGY
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) May 15, 2020
Regions that have not yet met the metrics will remain under the stay-at-home order until June 13, reported The New York Post.
“All enforcement mechanisms by state or local governments shall continue to be in full force and effect until June 13, 2020, unless later extended or amended by a future Executive Order,” says the order signed on Thursday.