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As Memorial Day weekend approaches, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday said “no swimming” will be allowed at beaches and warned New Yorkers that they would “be taken right out of the water” if they violate the rules amid the city’s coronavirus response.
During his daily press briefing, de Blasio explained new beach rules and maintained that the city’s beaches would remain closed for swimming, despite New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s move to reopen state beaches ahead of the holiday weekend. Cuomo, though, gave local officials the option to keep beaches closed.
“If you want to walk on the beach, fine,” de Blasio said Monday. “But no swimming, no parties, no barbecues.”
“Anyone tries to get in the water they’ll be taken right out of the water,” he warned, while noting that there would be “fencing” that would “be in position,” but said it “doesn’t have to be put up unless we have to take tougher measures.”
“The fencing, again, is available, but we don’t want to use it if we don’t have to,” de Blasio said. “The goal is not to have it implemented.”
He added: “No swimming, no sports … Use common sense and observe social distancing.”
The mayor said that the New York City Police Department would work to “avoid” boardwalks crowding.
“It is not beach season like normal,” de Blasio said. “It is a pandemic.”
De Blasio went on to urge people to avoid “nonessential travel” to the beaches.
“If more enforcement is needed, we’ll do it,” de Blasio said, while noting that he is hopeful that beaches will be able to reopen as normal before the end of the summer.
All of New York City’s beaches – Wolfe’s Pond Beach in Staten Island; South Beach in Staten Island; Rockaway Beach in Queens; Orchard Beach in the Bronx; Midland Beach in Staten Island; Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn; Coney Island in Brooklyn; Cedar Grove in Staten Island; Brighton Beach in Brooklyn – are closed for swimming and will not reopen ahead of Memorial Day weekend.
De Blasio, on Sunday, said New York City beaches would not reopen before Memorial Day weekend, saying: “It’s not safe. It’s not the right thing to do.”
“No one has to be reminded, we are the epicenter of this crisis,” de Blasio said Sunday.
As of Monday, New York City reported more than 193,000 positive cases of COVID-19 and more than 15,700 deaths.