NEW YORK — New York state beaches may reopen during Memorial Day weekend, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday.
The state joins New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware in making the decision to allow beaches to open May 22, the governor said during his daily coronavirus briefing.
“We are one multi-state region. What one state does will affect other states,” Cuomo said.
“One state opens beaches, the other doesn’t — you will see people flood to that state,” he added.
All New York beaches must adhere to the following conditions:
- No more than 50% capacity, by ensuring controlled exits and entrances and limiting parking.
- Prohibiting group contact activities, including sports
- Keep areas of social gathering closed (picnic areas, playgrounds, arcades, amusement rides)
- Enforce social distancing for employees and visitors
- Requiring masks to be worn when social distancing is not possible
- Closing concessions
- Ensuring staff levels are adequate to achieve these measures and enforce crowd control
- Pools will remain closed.
City, town and county beaches may open on the same conditions subject to local government home rules:
- Local governments must fully enforce minimum rules and may impose additional conditions
- If local governments do not enforce minimum rules, beach will be closed
- Locals must publicly notify by May 20
The announcement does not include New York City beaches.
During Mayor Bill de Blasio’s coronavirus briefing, he was asked about opening beaches and said the city is “just not ready” for people to go to beaches.
Beginning Friday, five regions in New York state began to reopen. Those are the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley, North Country and Central New York. They’ve each met criteria allowing them to do so.
New York City and its surrounding areas have not yet met the criteria — 7 points determined by the state — but can begin phase 1 of opening if and when those criteria are met, even if that is before May 28.
The state has seen over 343,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with the state’s death toll at over 22,000.