NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Another day of warm temperatures brought New Yorkers outdoors Saturday, but as people tried to fill several parks, they were met by so-called social distancing ambassadors.

At popular Sheep Meadow in Central Park, some people were turned away by officers to keep it from getting too packed.

Nancy and Howard Coughlin were told they could not get in, but they took it in stride.

“I think if they want to maintain the number of people that are here, then that’s what they should do, absolutely,” Nancy Coughlin told CBS2’s Dave Carlin.

“There’s plenty of grass for everybody,” Howard Coughlin said.

“They actually had a physical 6-feet banner, so they were going between, group to group, and they were making sure everyone was adhering to the standards,” said Carly Patrone, of Prospect Park.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Mayor Bill de Blasio spent Saturday morning in Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, thanking parks department volunteers and employees as they prepared to hand out free face coverings.

The enforcement strategy is shifting away from strict police officer oversight of social distancing to more gentle persuasion from so-called ambassadors, leaving cops to focus only on the most egregious violators.

While families say crowds were much better controlled at parks this week compared to previous weeks, it was a different story on the streets and at restaurant take-out counters.

“I think people let their guard down. They’re having drinks and they don’t want to have masks with the drinks, and I think it’s just human behavior,” one woman said.

RELATED STORY: NYC To Expand Number Of Non-NYPD ‘Social Distancing Ambassadors’ To 2,300 Following Viral Videos Of Arrests

One researcher says he’s finding gender plays a role when it comes to whether or not people put on a face mask, and that more women than men wear them.

“Men, more than women, declared that wearing a face covering is a sign of weakness, it’s shameful and it’s not cool,” said Valerio Capraro, a lecturer at Middlesex University in London.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to remind everyone your face covering is your friend, and it should stay on even in very warm weather.

“The weather is warmer. They’re gonna come out. How do they act when they come out?” he said. “Are they wearing masks? Are they using hand sanitizer?”

The governor went on to say following the rules could mean the difference between seeing a slight increase in coronavirus cases or a dramatic spike.

Comments
  1. CYRUS says:

    How childish to elevate “looking cool” above putting on a mask in order to protect others. More like selfish and reckless.

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