Reopen News: NYC beaches to reopen and other changes for summer

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- There is good news for beach-goers in New York City as city beaches will reopen for swimming on July 1.

The city's 14 miles of beaches have been off limits to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Mayor Bill de Blasio made the official announcement on Wednesday.

"Let's keep playing it safe: social distance & face coverings, even at the beach!" he tweeted late Tuesday night.

Swimming will be allowed at the city's eight public beaches and lifeguards will be on duty daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

"New Yorkers have worked hard to fight back this virus and to put us back on the path to a safe reopening," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "This summer is still unlike any in our history, but now, we will all have the opportunity to cool off and swim at our cherished beaches."

"Our beaches have long been a key component of a traditional New York City summer. While the past few months have been incredibly challenging, we are excited to bring our beaches back for the season," said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. "We want all New Yorkers to enjoy the surf and sand, but more than ever we want everyone to keep safety first. From being water safe and only swimming when a lifeguard is on duty, to adhering to social distancing guidelines and wearing a face covering; it is important that we are cautious and responsible when we hit the beach this summer."

City beaches include Orchard Beach in the Bronx; Coney Island and Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn; Rockaway Beach in Queens; and Midland Beach, South Beach, Cedar Grove Beach, and Wolfe's Pond Park Beach on Staten Island.

To encourage social distancing, NYC Parks Ambassadors will continue to staff the beaches, handing out masks and educating patrons about maintaining safe distancing. If certain sections of the beach become too crowded, visitors will be directed to different less crowded areas. All New Yorkers should continue to wash and sanitize their hands, wear a face covering, and maintain distance between individuals and small groups.

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Raw Video: NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announces the city's plans to help keep kids and seniors cool this summer.

Meantime, the city will allow private camps to use space in New York City parks this summer as part of it's Cool It! NYC program.

The Parks and Department of Health are reviewing more than 350 applications for camp permits.

Camps are being run by groups including the YMCA and other non-profits, religious groups and private companies.

Also to the delight of children across the city, sprinklers, spray showers, and misting stations are reopening.

There are 950 existing cooling elements and the city is adding 250 new sites as well.

During heat advisories, the FDNY and DEP will install up to 320 additional spray caps on hydrants citywide.

You can visit to find a cooling element near you, or you can call 311 to request a spray cap.

Low-income seniors are still continuing to receive free air conditioning units. So far, the city has registered 37,200 for the free AC units. 18,274 have been installed, with 1,500 more being installed daily.

The DEP will create a reusable water bottle distribution program to promote reusable bottles and remind New Yorkers to stay hydrated. The city will provide 15,000 bottles to elected officials, community boards and partner organizations to distribute citywide.


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