New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware will open their beaches for Memorial Day weekend, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Friday. The openings apply to state beaches as well as local beaches and lake shores, but do not include pools, he said.
The beaches will open on the Friday before Memorial Day. They will allow no more than 50% capacity, and contact activities — like football or volleyball — will not be allowed. Gathering places such as picnic areas and arcades will not be open, and concessions won't be operating, Cuomo said.
Visitors must have and wear masks when they can't maintain social distancing.
"On the beaches that are controlled by cities, towns, counties — municipal beaches, municipal lakes — the local government can decide to open or stay closed," he said. "If they choose to open they must adopt the state's requirements at a minimum."
He said they can also impose requirements beyond what the state requires.
Five of ten regions in New York state are starting to reopen on Friday, because they "meet the numerical criteria," he said. "Seven criteria, which basically measure the infection rate, hospitalization rate, testing rate, etcetera, and that's how the decision is made."
The state's shutdown will stay in effect until May 28 for the five other regions that are still closed, although any region can reopen earlier if it hits its "benchmark."
Cuomo said the number of coronavirus hospitalizations in New York state has continued to decline, but he urged people to not underestimate the virus and "not play with this virus."
He said 132 people died due to the virus on Thursday.