NEW YORK - There’s some good news for some beachgoers–at least on Long Island. State beaches there will be open for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial kickoff of the summer season.
Governor Andrew Cuomo says he coordinated with neighboring states, which will also open their beaches.
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“The agreement is New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware will all be opening beaches for the Memorial Day Weekend,” Cuomo said. “States will have different specific rules on what happens on that beach.”
But while he coordinated with New Jersey, Connecticut and even Delaware, which is about 190 miles from the City, Cuomo apparently did not coordinate with Mayor de blasio. The mayor says beaches in the Rockaways, Coney Island, The Bronx, and Staten Island will remain closed.
"It's painful because we would all love to go to the beach in the hot weather but it's not safe yet. Beaches come with a whole lot of people getting together,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “We saw what happened in California and Florida people started just immediately doing what they've always done. It's very difficult to create social distancing."
The mixed messages seemed to undermine Cuomo’s plan to prevent people from rushing to one area’s beaches if beaches in their own backyard are closed.
State Senator Todd Kaminsky Of Long Island has called on the mayor to open beaches.
“I am extremely worried about this situation and it’s going to create problems. We all need to be reading off the same music sheet here,” State Senator Todd Kaminsky said. “If tens of thousands of people come to Long Island it puts a huge amount of pressure on our beaches to try and maintain social distancing. Having city beaches closed helps nobody.”
And while beaches will be open for the season on Long Island, there will still be tight restrictions when it comes to actually using them.
“No more than 50 percent capacity and that will be done at parking areas, entrance areas, exit areas, et cetera. No group contact activities. No volleyball, no football, nothing like that. Areas of social gathering will be closed, picnic areas, et cetera. Playgrounds, pavilions, arcades,” Cuomo said.
Beaches will have the all clear to open on the Friday before Memorial Day, which is May 22. However, public pools are to remain closed for the time being.