Experts urge residents to practice social distancing over holiday weekend

Memorial Day weekend is often referred to as the unofficial start to summer. For most Long Islanders, that means their first yearly trip to the beach.
If you are planning on hitting the sand at a state beach this weekend, be prepared for your experience to be different as officials have put guidelines in to place to keep everyone safe and healthy.
All New York State beaches, including Jones Beach, Hither Hills, Sunken Meadow and Robert Moses, will be operating at 50% capacity. Parking lots at state parks have cones blocking every other space. Once all open spaces are filled, no other cars will be let in. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state expects capacity will be reached by 10 a.m. over the holiday weekend.
If you arrive at the beach and it has reached capacity, you are asked to not park on the grass or in undesignated areas.
Gates at state beaches will open at 6 a.m. and close at 9 p.m. Swimming will be permitted from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Group activities like football and volleyball will not be permitted. Social gathering spots like picnic tables, concession stands, playgrounds and pavilions will also be closed off.
Social distancing must be practiced at all times; from where you place your beach blanket to when you are in the water swimming. Keep six feet away from people around you, and if you can't, put on a mask.