Some Long Island beaches prepare to reopen Memorial Day weekend
As parts of New York begin to reopen, Long Island has yet to meet requirements -- but some beaches will provide a bit of entertainment beginning Memorial Day weekend.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says state beaches like Jones Beach and Robert Moses State Park will open under strict social distancing rules next Friday. Local beaches can follow suit, if the follow state guidelines.
Capacity at beaches and in parking lots will be capped at 50%. Concession stands will be closed.
Smith Point County Park was already preparing to possibly open before the governor's announcement. County Executive Steve Bellone says strict social distancing guidelines will be enforced on the beach, plus face coverings will be required in all public areas like the boardwalk, bathrooms and concession areas, but masks will not be required once you touch the sand.
"I think it's very important that we be realistic here and understand that kids are home from school, and through the month of June when you have 80-90 degree weather it's unrealistic to think they are not coming to the beach," says Bellone. "We need to do this in a way that has safety protocols in place so that it's a controlled situation and that's exactly what we're doing here."
Bellone says park rangers and extra staff will be on hand to enforce rules and keep public areas santizied.
With all of the signs and rules, will it be enough? Some people say they're not so sure.
"It's going to be very crowded and people are not going to be able to observe 6 feet of distance," says Carla Kesslerm of Mount Sinai.
Others think it'll be a breeze and a much-needed recharge.
"If there is any place to do it, it's here, I mean everybody respects each other's distance," says Jennifer Vicidomine, of Mastic Beach.
Bellone hopes everyone will follow the rules, because if they don't and infection rates jump, he warns that beaches could close again.