LONG ISLAND — Weather-wise, it may not be the most ideal beach weekend but Long Island beach towns are getting ready for not only the crowds, but enforcing a whole new set of rules.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran is treating this as a reward for citizens' behavior during the coronavirus pandemic.
"Our residents have been fantastic throughout this pandemic," she said. "We hunkered down, we did the right thing. I know that we can enjoy summertime responsibly."
Two months into quarantine, signs of life are returning to the tri-state region and that includes opening up many of our beaches.
While New York City says it is not ready just yet, Long Island says it is.
Beach life will look a little different this season. Lifeguards are undergoing new training protocol thanks to COVID-19.
"All lifeguards will be supplied with car resuscitator masks and manual pump resuscitators to prevent the spread of COVID-19 if they have to perform any life saving tasks," said Curran.
The town of Hempstead says their lifeguards will wear masks, gloves and eye protection and gowns for more advanced rescues. While no swimming is permitted yet, if a water rescue has to be conducted, lifeguards will have another important step to keep themselves safe..
"We’re going to set up showers, decontamination showers, so that way if they have to come in contact with someone they can immediately go shower and wash off anything," said Dr. Dave Neubert, Medical Director for the town of Hempstead.
Other changes include that capacity on Long Island beaches will be strictly enforced at 50% and cars will be parked in every other space at many lots. Beachgoers must keep six feet apart from one another, unless they’re from the same family or household. There must be 10 feet distance between towel and chair set ups
There will also be no contact sports of any kind and food and drink concession stands are closed. Food trucks with only one employee will be permitted.
Restrooms on beaches will be open, though only six people at a time may enter. Public areas like those restrooms will be disinfected regularly
All of this will be monitored by parks department personnel and that includes the checking of ID’s ensuring only Long Island residents are utilizing these beaches.