NEW YORK — After two months of strict limits on business and social distancing, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo welcomed the first loosening of restrictions in many parts of the state Friday and announced that beaches would be allowed to open in time for the Memorial Day weekend.
State and municipal beaches throughout the state will be allowed to open the Friday before the holiday, but with limits, the Democrat said.
Capacity will be limited to no more than 50 percent of normal, with parking limited to trim crowds. Group activities will not be allowed. Picnic areas and playgrounds will stay closed. Employees need to wear masks.
It will be up to local governments, Cuomo said, to decide whether to allow municipal beaches to reopen. If they do, they must follow the state’s rules.
“If there is a problem, and the locals do not enforce those regulations, we will close those beaches,” Cuomo said.
Beaches in New Jersey and Connecticut will also be open for the holiday weekend, and Cuomo said part of the rationale for reopening was to prevent New Yorkers from flocking to those states as the weather warms.