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Friday, May 22, 2020

Coronavirus News: NY state beaches welcome COVID-weary residents
for Memorial Day weekend

In New York, state beaches will be open to the public this Memorial Day weekend, even as New York City beaches remain closed. Jones Beach and the beach at Robert Moses State Park both opened at 6 a.m. Friday and will remain open until 9 p.m., but there are restrictions.

Ground rules:
*Swimming is being allowed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
*No group contact activities, including sports like volleyball and football
*Areas of social gathering are closed, including designated picnic areas, playgrounds, pavilions
*No concessions
*Social distancing measures are being enforced

Face coverings are required to be worn by all employees and visitors when social distancing is not possible. The beaches are limited to 50% capacity, which officials expected to be reached by the late morning. One big reason for that is the expected influx of New York City residents, because beaches there will not open for swimming this weekend.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said beachgoers can be on the sand but must be socially distanced, and the NYPD will be patrolling popular places like Coney Island.

"If there's too many people at any point, any place, we're going to do what we've said we're going to do," de Blasio said. "We will keep spreading people out, but if we have to send people off the beach, off the boardwalk, if we have to reduce the number of people, we'll do that." The mayor is also threatening to fence off the entrances to city beaches

At Jones Beach, officials say they will close the gates once they reach half-full capacity. Many locally run beaches, including the Nassau County-operated Nickerson Beach, have been restricted to residents only to discourage an influx of city dwellers.

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