The city is considering closing New York City beaches for the summer in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the New York Post reported on Tuesday. Sources told the newspaper that the city’s Parks Department has been directed by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration to plan for “every scenario,” which could mean full and partial closures of its 14 miles of beaches. The mayor also said this week that large gatherings may not be able to take place until the fall as the city continues to control the spread of the virus.
“We’re confident, at this moment, we can reopen the schools in September, but we’re not confident about June,” de Blasio said during a press conference on Tuesday. “We’re not confident about July. We’re not confident about August, that we could have people gathering together again in large numbers.”
According to the Post, possible situations for opening the beaches could involve closing off just some of the beaches. But concerns about overcrowding, as well as the ability to hire lifeguards during the pandemic, make this unlikely.
In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy has closed all state parks and forests, as well as a number of county parks, and gave municipalities control of what public spaces remain open in each town. Many Jersey Shore towns have closed beaches and boardwalks, with some even implementing a ban on short-term rentals. It’s unclear as of now whether NJ’s beaches will reopen in time for summer.
[Via NY Post]
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