As summer nears, officials in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware have agreed to open state beaches on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend — with strict precautions, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday.
Cuomo said he agreed to open New York’s state beaches because neighboring states were opening theirs, and if New York remained closed, New Yorkers would flock to the other states’, overcrowding them.
Beaches must remain at 50% capacity, and masks will be required when social distancing isn’t possible, Cuomo said.
Picnic areas, playgrounds, arcades, amusement rides and concessions will remain closed. Playing sports on the beaches will be prohibited.
Beaches run by local governments can also open if the local officials enforce rules. If rules aren’t enforced, those beaches will close, Cuomo said.
In New York state, 132 people succumbed to the virus on Thursday, but the number of cases is on the decline, Cuomo said.
Five New York state regions have met stated benchmarks and can start to reopen Friday.
In those regions — North Country, Mohawk Valley, Central New York, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier — retail can reopen for curbside pickup. Employees and patrons must wear masks, Cuomo said, and gloves are preferred.
For stores where curbside is not practical, customers can pick up their items inside, but stores must maintain an occupancy of no more than 50%. Employees and patrons must wear masks for these transactions, too, Cuomo said.
For the state’s remaining regions — New York City, Long Island, Mid Hudson, Capital District and Western New York — “New York PAUSE” is extended to May 28, Cuomo said.