Coronavirus News: Huntington beaches in Suffolk County to restrict beach access all summer

HUNTINGTON, Suffolk County (WABC) -- Huntington beaches in Suffolk County will be opening in stages starting on Memorial Day weekend with access limited to residents only for the rest of the summer.

Four beaches will open for Memorial Day weekend:

Centerport Beach, Little Neck Road, Centerport
Crab Meadow Beach, Waterside Avenue, Northport
Hobart Beach, Eaton's Neck Road, Eaton's Neck
Quentin Sammis West Neck Beach, West Neck Road, Lloyd Harbor

Those four beaches will open with reduced capacity, limited access to amenities, face masks will be required for entry, and vehicle access to beach parking lots will be limited to residents only, for whom access will be free upon providing a drivers license as proof of residence.

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The remaining Huntington beaches will open on subsequent weekends and Beach Parking Permits will be sold starting May 30.

"We will be opening our beaches on a staggered schedule, starting with the four largest Town of Huntington beaches on Memorial Day weekend, with limits on capacity and the expectation that visitors will respect social distancing protocols, vehicle access will be free during the holiday weekend and limited to Town residents only," said Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci. "Beach Parking Permit access will begin on Saturday, May 30th, as the number of open beaches expands but access will continue to be limited to residents only for the remainder of the 2020 season."

BEACH OPENING SCHEDULE

The Town will stagger the opening of the following beaches, with capacity reduced to 50%:

OPENING SATURDAY, MAY 23 - MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND:

Four beaches will open Memorial Day Weekend at 50% capacity. Vehicle access to beach parking lots will be limited to residents only, for whom access will be free upon providing a drivers license as proof of residence Memorial Day Weekend. Beach Parking Permits will not be available for sale Memorial Day Weekend.

Centerport Beach, Little Neck Road, Centerport
Crab Meadow Beach, Waterside Avenue, Northport
Hobart Beach, Eaton's Neck Road, Eaton's Neck
Quentin Sammis West Neck Beach, West Neck Road, Lloyd Harbor

OPENING SATURDAY, MAY 30:

Beach Parking Permits will be available for sale starting Saturday, May 30 at Centerport Beach, Crab Meadow Beach, Hobart Beach, Quentin Sammis West Neck Beach and the following beaches, which are officially opening on May 30:

Fleets Cove Beach, Fleets Cove Road, Centerport
Gold Star Battalion Beach, West Shore Road, Huntington

Vehicle access to beach parking lots will be limited to residents only for the entire 2020 season by Town Board resolution at the May 20 Town Board meeting.

OPENING SATURDAY, JUNE 6:

The following beaches will officially open on Saturday, June 6, where Beach Parking Permits will also be available for sale:

Asharoken Beach, Eaton's Neck Road, Northport
Crescent Beach, Crescent Beach Drive, Huntington Bay

Already open (for fishing only) is Geissler's Beach, Makamah Road, Northport. The Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo Memorial Spray Park, located at Elwood Park, Cuba Hill Road, Huntington, will remain closed until further guidance is received by New York State.

BEACH PARKING

Beach parking lots will be limited to 50% capacity. Visitors must park vehicles following the spacing guidelines of the newly marked parking spots; once parking lots are full, parking illegally outside the beach parking lot will continue to be prohibited and parking enforcement will ticket violations. Beach parking lot spaces available closest to the beach will be saved for seniors and those with disability parking permits. The Department of Public Safety will be enforcing social distancing and parking rules in and outside of the beach parking lots.

SOCIAL DISTANCING, FACE MASKS, AND PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES

Beach visitors will be required to have a mask or face covering to gain entry to a Town beach. Accordingly, visitors should be wearing a mask or face covering when waiting for admission to the beach.

Each beach will have a capacity plan to ensure adequate space is available for visitors within household groups to maintain a minimum of 6 feet of distance from other groups. Beach visitors will be required to maintain social distance of a minimum of six feet between themselves and anyone not within their household. Beach visitors will be required to wear a face mask or other face covering when in any public areas, including boardwalks, restrooms, concession areas, walkways and any other public area other than on their blanket, beach chair or in the water. Signage will be posted explaining specific required public behaviors.

During the summer of 2020, the Town is prohibiting the following beach activities and use of amenities; facilities will be secured to the extent possible:

Barbecues
Basketball courts
Bird nesting preserve at Hobart Beach; the Departments of Public Safety and/or Maritime Services will be issuing trespassing violations for those who enter the gated area located behind fencing
Group activities
Picnic tables
Playgrounds
Senior Beach use by non-senior citizens at Centerport Beach (lifeguard will be on duty to ensure compliance)
Sunscreen dispensers (Memorial Day Weekend only; new, automatic battery-powered no-touch sunscreen dispensers will be installed at a later date)
Volleyball
Water fountains

Lifeguards will be monitoring social distancing on the beach and in common areas with the Departments of Public Safety and/or Maritime Services providing support in enforcement.

Additional measures the Town is taking to protect the public and Town employees, in adherence to Suffolk County Department of Health Services guidelines:

All staff fully educated on symptoms of COVID-19 and advised to stay home if they develop any of the symptoms.

Monitoring the health of all summer seasonal employees, which includes daily employee temperature screening overseen by Certified EMTs; any worker with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will be required to go home, in this event, floaters will supplement staffing.

Lifeguard training related to executing saves wearing water-compatible masks from certifying bodies.

Bathroom cleanings every two hours at each beach by staff wearing the required personal protective equipment, with special attention given to high-touch areas, such as doorknobs, countertops, handles, and sinks.

Battery-powered, no-touch automatic sunscreen dispensers replacing existing manual sunscreen dispensers (not as of Memorial Day Weekend)

BEACH PARKING PERMIT AVAILABILITY AND INFORMATION

Beach Parking Permits will not be available for sale on Memorial Day Weekend; vehicle access to beach parking lots will be free, and only for residents providing a drivers license as proof of residency, through Friday, May 29, until the sale of permits begins on Saturday, May 30.

Permits will be available for sale to residents only, staggered with the beach openings, starting on Saturday, May 30, as outlined in the following schedule:

Saturday, May 30:

Seasonal and Daily Beach Parking Permits available for sale to residents only at Centerport Beach, Crab Meadow Beach, Fleets Cove Beach, Gold Star Battalion Beach, Hobart Beach, and Quentin Sammis West Neck Beach; vehicle registration and driver's license required, permit must be affixed by the attendant to the vehicle.
Free Senior Citizen Seasonal Beach Permits will available to senior residents, 60 years of age or older, at Centerport Beach, Crab Meadow Beach, and Quentin Sammis West Neck Beach only; vehicle registration and driver's license required, permit must be affixed by the attendant to the vehicle.

Monday, June 1:

Free Firefighter/EMS/Rescue Seasonal Beach Permits will begin to be delivered by mail to resident volunteer firefighters and resident rescue squad personnel only; vehicle registration and driver's license required. Please contact your district's Fire Chief or Ambulance Chief, who are working with the Town's Fire Marshal to coordinate permit delivery.

Saturday, June 6:

Seasonal and Daily Beach Parking Permits available for sale to residents only at Asharoken Beach and Crescent Beach; vehicle registration and driver's license required, permit must be affixed by the attendant to the vehicle.

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