Connecticut state parks with beaches along the shoreline will be open Friday, May 22, with capacity restrictions in place, the governor's office announced Friday.
State officials said Connecticut's shoreline state park beaches were never closed, but the announcement comes as part of a multi-state agreemeent to open beaches across Delaware, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Visitors will have to follow social distancing guidelines of staying 6 feet apart, and groups of over five are not allowed. People are asked to visit beaches closest to their homes, and not meet up with anyone outside their immediate family.
If social distancing is not maintained, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection will reduce parking capacity and close beaches, Lamont's office said. State officials have the following guidelines on what they are looking for from the public and how they will monitor safety at the beaches:
- No public gatherings or groups of over five
- Face coverings 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
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no current evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted through recreational freshwater or saltwater swimming.
The decisions on whether to open town and city beaches will remain with local authorities.