Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday that the Big Apple’s beaches will be open for Memorial Day weekend — but warned there won’t be a whole lot of fun in the sun allowed.
“You can walk on the beach. You can hang out on the beach, but do it in a manner that is consistent with everything we’ve been talking about,” de Blasio said.
“You go out for the amount of time you need, then you get back home.”
With no lifeguards on duty, de Blasio said, beachgoers can forget about one of the main attractions — hitting the waves.
“I’ve been really clear about the beaches — they are closed for swimming . . . People are not supposed to go to the beach to swim,” he said during his daily coronavirus briefing at City Hall.
Hizzoner also said that sun-worshippers will need to wear a face mask along with their bathing suits, and that social-distancing and other rules would be strictly enforced by about 150 Parks workers — backed up by “hundreds” of NYPD cops.
“There’s not going to be anything with group activity. No sports, no volleyball, no gatherings,” he said.
“And there will be vehicles constantly reminding people: no swimming, no barbecuing, no sports.”
City personnel will be stationed at all entry points, de Blasio said, “counting how many people are going on the beach, checking to make sure that there’s the right number of people, and we don’t see any crowding on the beach, we don’t see any crowding on the boardwalk.”
“If we start to see any crowding, we’re going to make sure to limit,” he added.
De Blasio called the crackdown on traditional summertime pleasures “smart moves to keep our progress going” in the fight against the deadly coronavirus.
Later, during an interview on WNYC radio, de Blasio also called the plan a “modified, lesser version of what we would normally do, because we cannot allow to have happen what happened in Florida and California.”
“We cannot see people going to the beaches in large numbers, crowding together. We’re just not doing that,” he said.
During a meeting of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, Deputy Parks Commissioner Margaret Nelson noted that surfing was still allowed because it’s “not considered swimming under the state health code.”
And while there will be “people on the waterline” enforcing the no-swimming edict, Nelson said, the water won’t be entirely off-limits.
“You can dip your feet into the water,” she said in response to a question from committee Chairman Donovan Richards (D-Queens).
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