Acting on a commitment to coordinate regional policies in response to COVID-19, Govs. Andrew M. Cuomo, Phil Murphy of New Jersey, Ned Lamont of Connecticut and John Carney of Delaware on Friday announced a multistate agreement to reopen public and private beaches with certain restrictions in place effective, Friday, May 22. They said this approach will better align the states' policies ahead of the summer months.
"With Memorial Day weekend fast approaching and warmer weather on the way, we want to make sure New Yorkers and residents of our neighboring states are able to safely enjoy outdoor recreational activities," Cuomo said. "We have been coordinating with other states throughout this entire pandemic, and we have worked on an agreement allowing beaches to be open with proper social distancing and other public health protections in place so we can begin establishing a new normal without jeopardizing the progress we've already made."
Murphy said, "A trip to the beach is a treasured past time for New Jerseyans on Memorial Day weekend just as it is for residents in our neighboring states. By aligning our social distancing policies for beaches, we can bring some semblance of a 'new normal' to our region ahead of the first weekend of the summer season."
Lamont said, "Our beaches are some of our most beautiful and treasured assets. We want to make sure they are enjoyed up and down the East Coast in the safest possible way, especially as the summer season begins. Working together as states to make sure they can be enjoyed responsibly makes sense."
Carney said, "Summer at the beach is a huge part of life for so many Delawareans. As we ease our way into a ‘new normal,’ we're trying to find ways for Delawareans to safely to enjoy the outdoors and the company of their families."
Image courtesy of the Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Beaches are not likely to be open in Erie County on the holiday weekend.
In an afternoon update on YouTube, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, “Our county beaches would not be open normally until mid-June. … And then, of course, we're not going to be able to open any beach that’s a county beach, until we actually have lifeguards available. And at this point, we do not have that in place. So, for now, it's kind of premature for Erie County at least.”