NEW YORK (CBSnewYork) – Coney Island and Rockaway beaches will be open this weekend, but you better keep moving.
You will be able to walk on the boardwalk, walk on the sand, and even wade in the water this weekend but the city says no swimming, reports CBS2’s Ali Bauman.
The NYPD says it is taking a common-sense approach to patrolling Coney Island for Memorial Day weekend.
People are encouraged to come for the day as long as they keep their social distance.
The Parks Department will be in charge of enforcement on the beach, and since lifeguards will not be on duty, people will not be allowed to go in the water past their ankles.
Police will patrol the boardwalk and entrances to the beach but say officers are there to make sure people stay safe, not enforce social distancing.
“We certainly don’t anticipate that we’ll need to give any summonses at this time. People have been extremely cooperative and we expect that to continue,” an NYPD official said.
If you are heading to a beach outside the city, the MTA wants you to stay off mass transit.
To prevent overcrowding this holiday weekend on subways, buses and the LIRR, transit officials will limit the number of passengers on trains, and if there are still too many travelers, the MTA may add extra service.
“The MTA is still running its essential service plan to serve the heroic first responders and other essential workers who need to get to their critical jobs. As such, we ask that you do not need to ride with us unless it’s an essential trip, and that if you need to use public transportation, that you wear a mask or a face covering,” said MTA LIRR President Phil Eng.
So does all this mean the city is dipping its toes in the reopening waters?
Mayor Bill de Blasio says phase one of reopening the city could start as soon as June.
“I’m basing that on everything we know today. I will put an asterisk that you won’t be surprised on saying this disease has thrown us a lot of curveballs so we’re not going to rest on laurels or assume we have a crystal ball here,” the mayor said.
Because schools are closed for the summer, the NYPD will deploy about 5,000 school safety agents at Coney Island and to parks around the city to hand out masks and remind people to stand 6 feet apart.