Safety guidelines in place as Massachusetts beaches set to reopen

Hampden County

WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Memorial Day weekend is typically a time when families gather together and many go to the beach.

Although beaches will reopen on Monday as part of phase 1 of Governor Baker’s reopening plan there are a few restrictions.

“My advice to everybody over the weekend would be the same advice that I would give to my friends, I would give to my kids, I would give to my neighbors. Which is respect the virus,” Governor Baker said in a recent briefing.

At Hampton Pond in Westfield, they’ve closed the bathrooms and all water fountains are closed during the first phase. The pond’s pavilion typically would be full of picnic tables but they’ve all since been removed by the state to ensure that there are no large social gatherings at beaches.

According to the guidelines, all beach-goers over the age of two must wear a mask when at least six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained but swimmers do not have to wear masks while in the water.

“A lot of people spend a bunch of time on Memorial Day weekend with family. Family usually means things like moms and dads and in some cases grandmas and grandpas. Wear a face covering,” Baker advised.

No groups larger than 10 people are allowed to gather at the beach. There also must be at least 12 feet of distance between groups of towels and all organized ball games are prohibited.

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