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New York beaches to open May 22: governor

Town and cities have option to keep them closed longer


New York state will allow beaches to open next Friday, May 22, in time for the Memorial Day weekend, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at his daily briefing Friday.

The governor said, however, local towns and cities can decide to extend the order barring access to beaches beyond that date, if they deem it necessary.

The reopening of beaches will take place in tandem with New Jersey, Delaware and Connecticut, which has already reopened certain of its beaches.

The new order came one day after a bipartisan group of state senators called on the governor to create a plan for safe reopening of the beaches.

Sen. Todd Kaminsky, a Long Beach Democrat, joined the nine senators in asking Cuomo to establish "an inter-jurisdictional task force to coordinate and execute" beach reopenings.

Nassau County beaches have been closed since Cuomo issued the first New York Pause order in late March, shutting down most businesses and public places in an effort to slow down the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

On Thursday night, the governor continued the New York Pause order through May 28, with the option and ability to extend enforcement of the order through June 13. The order applies to five of the state's 10 regions, including Long Island and New York City.

On May 1, 13 town supervisors from across Long Island gathered to begin developing plans to open their recreational facilities, including beaches. 

“The theme of our discussion was that the Covid-19 pandemic does not follow town borders, and it’s necessary to collaborate on our best practices and strategies for summer programs and services," Hempstead Town Supervisor Donald Clavin said. "Working together as a team and maintaining communication will be key to providing the safest environment.”