OLD LYME, Conn. (WWLP) – Massachusetts state beaches don’t open until Monday, but Connecticut state beaches have remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic, and residents have to follow a new set of guidelines when visiting.
“We’ve been couped up for 8 or 9 weeks now and really haven’t gone anywhere. This is really our first endeavor out of the home and out of the area,” said Joe Peters of Chicopee.
According to Connecticut’s State Website, visitors to Connecticut’s shoreline state park beaches must keep these new guidelines in mind:
- No public gatherings or groups of over five
- Face coverings must be worn when in proximity to others
- Set parking capacity limits at each beach based on observations of levels needed to maintain social distancing
- Daily closures when social distancing cannot be maintained
- Use of social media and other communications to inform the public when capacity is restricted so they can plan to go elsewhere
- Spacing of 15 feet or more between beach blankets
Connecticut state beaches never closed during the pandemic but some city or town owned beaches have yet to open, such as Sound View Beach in Old Lyme, Connecticut. This particular beach opens on Saturday to the public but city and town owned beaches may have their own social distancing restrictions.
“I think the hard part is that people will come here in droves and will think that they can just be here, there will be space for us.”Peg Serapilia, Old Lyme, Connecticut resident
Many Connecticut beaches fill to capacity quickly on holiday weekends but given the new guidelines they’re expected to fill up faster.
“We’ve already seen it the last couple weeks here, people cluster to our beaches. We get a lot of tourists from outside areas, from outside states,” said Viktorija Grillo on Niantic, Connecticut.
Anyone coming to Connecticut from out of state is required to quarantine for 14 days, so for the time being day trips from western Massachusetts are not allowed.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise that there is no current evidence of COVID-19 transmission through recreational freshwater or saltwater swimming.