Some Long Island beaches to restrict access to residents only

The county executives of Nassau County and Suffolk County are on the same page when it comes to operating at 50% capacity and only allowing its residents at its beaches for Memorial Day weekend.  

On Monday, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced the county's two beaches—Smith Point and Cupsogue Beach—will be limited to residents only amid the restrictions in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On Tuesday, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran followed suit and announced plans to sign legislation designating Nickerson Beach as the county's only beach solely for county residents. The county legislature's majority had called for the move.

"There are 8 million residents in the city of New York," said Richard Nicolello, the presiding officer of Nassau Legislature majority. "If a small fraction of those residents come to Nassau County to our beaches, they'll inundate the beaches."

In the Town of Hempstead, officials voted on an emergency resolution to make its town beaches for Nassau residents' use only as well. 

However, state beaches, including Jones Beach State Park, will open without restrictions but will be capped at 50% capacity to maintain social distancing.

Officials in the City of Long Beach are scheduled to meet Tuesday night to decide what to do there.

"On a normal day the beaches are crowded," one Long Beach resident told FOX 5 NY. "If they add [New York City] coming in, you won't be able to social distance." 

Local leaders said these decisions on restricting access came after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's move to keep the city's beaches closed. Some officials fear an influx of city beachgoers. 

"I think setting a clear set of rules now ahead of time makes a lot of sense and that means 50% capacity," state Sen. Todd Kaminsky said. 

The Nassau and Suffolk executives said the restrictions will stay in place until further notice.


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