The relatively cool spring weather through March, April, and May made it easier for Americans to stay inside during our countrywide COVID-19 quarantine. Now that summer is just around the corner, children and adults alike are eager to get outside and enjoy the season associated with adventure and relaxation.
But what exactly will a COVID-19 quarantine summer look like for New York and surrounding states? As regulations start to relax, little by little, here’s what you can expect in the Northeast.
Will the Beaches Remain Open?
The beaches stretching down the coasts of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut draw millions of vacationers every summer. Luckily, the coronavirus pandemic won’t put a stop to that this summer.
Even in New York City, where Mayor Bill de Blasio originally announced that beaches wouldn’t reopen at all, popular beach destinations are open to visitors at a 50 percent capacity limit. As of the end of May, social distancing continues to be strictly enforced on all NYC beaches, with masks mandated in any close-quarters situations.
Swimming isn’t yet allowed at NYC beaches, though beachgoers can wade up to their ankles. City council members have requested that Mayor de Blasio reopen all beaches to swimming, but a decision has not yet been made. Other restrictions at New York City’s beaches include:
- Closed drinking fountains
- No barbecuing, grilling, or organized sports allowed
- Parking only allowed in every other space in municipal lots
- To-go service at beach restaurants only
In other areas of the tri-state area, most other beaches are open with certain restrictions. In Brigantine, New Jersey, for example, all beaches are open for recreational activities, swimming, and sunbathing, as long as beachgoers wear masks and congregate in groups of 10 or less. Ocean City, New Jersey is also prohibiting groups of more than 10 people, with Ocean City Beach Patrol ensuring social distancing guidelines are followed.
Latest Updates on Entertainment
At the end of May, New York released a list of businesses that will not be included in the state’s Phase 2 reopening. The following sources of entertainment won’t be available to New Yorkers, at least through the early parts of summer:
- Gyms and fitness centers
- Movie theaters
- Amusement parks
- Water parks
- Aquariums and zoos
- Arcades and fairs
- Bowling alleys
The state of New Jersey is moving on a more accelerated schedule, with Six Flags Great Adventure reopening its drive-through safari on May 29 thanks to an executive order from Governor Phil Murphy. Other amusements, such as the rides at the Ocean City, NJ boardwalk and Coney Island in New York, remain closed until further notice.
As time passes, each state in the Northeast is slowly relaxing restrictions while keeping the most important guidelines in place, especially in the face of a long, hot summer ahead.