As the US enters Memorial Day weekend, beach towns are gearing up for visitors during the coronavirus pandemic.
Here are some of the guidelines being implemented by some cities along the East Coast:
Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey
Mayor Paul Kanitra has called in a town engineer to map out how many groups can be on the beach, and officials will cut people off when they reach capacity.
Lifeguards will have bandanas around their necks that they can pull up if they need to interact with someone, and their bags will contain personal protective equipment like masks, gowns, and gloves, according to Kanitra.
He also said on CNN’s “New Day” that he expects July and August will be “absolutely slammed,” and they are trying to anticipate that now.
Daytona Beach, Florida
Beach-goers in Daytona Beach will be required to place their towels and chairs 10 feet away from other groups, Mayor Derrick Henry said.
“We’re not trying to arrest people if they do not remain separate. We just give them the information, and by and large, they’re compliant,” Henry said.
The mayor said that masks are not mandatory on the beach.
“No one is required or even requested that they wear masks on the beach. We do believe that it is the safest place for people to be — is outside. But it is advisable, but we’re not requesting people to wear masks. Obviously, it’s advisable at all times but I don’t think it’s realistic or practical to ask people to go to the beach and wear a mask,” he said.
Henry said that while no additional lifeguard mandates have been made, the sheriff’s department is considering some changes to rescue procedures because the surf there is rough right now.
“It’s a quagmire, to say the least. It’s a big concern,” Henry said.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
While the beach has so far been open for fishing and exercise, beach-goers will now be able to sit and sunbathe, Deputy City Manager Ron Williams said.
There will also now be 100 to 125 beach ambassadors keeping an eye out on guidelines.
“If we don’t get voluntary compliance to it, a beach ambassador, they’ll ask for law enforcement to come and enforce the executive orders for the distancing,” Williams said.
Other restrictions on Virginia Beach include:
- Groups need to be fewer than 10 people and keep 6 feet apart from others
- No sneakers
- No group sports