Reopen News: Boardwalk and beach overcrowding prompts new restrictions in Long Beach

LONG ISLAND (WABC) -- In Nassau County, Long Beach will begin shutting down its beach starting at 8 p.m. Thursday and barricade the boardwalk at 9 p.m., in response to last weekend's large crowds and dozens of water rescues.

Police and lifeguards will begin closing entrances to the beach between Neptune Boulevard and New York Avenue, the main boardwalk stretch, and delivering warnings at 7:45 p.m.

Police, seasonal officers and bike patrols will then start closing the boardwalk at Edwards Boulevard, moving east and west. A smart car will follow people off the boardwalk.

"It's necessary," said Acting Police Commissioner Phil Ragona. "It's really important. And if we don't do this now, I really believe there could be dire consequences down the road. Some people think it's drastic. I don't. I think it's necessary."

"It is absolutely a work in progress," he added.

RELATED: Jersey shore borough passes new rules to curb bad beach behavior

The city traditionally keeps the beach open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., with swimming ending at 6 p.m. when lifeguards go off duty.

But large crowds, including more than 800 caught on camera Saturday night drinking and fighting, prompted city leaders to restrict beach and boardwalk access.

Now the beaches will be gated off at 8 p.m. and reopen at 5 a.m.

Traveling nurses recall "It was like a medical war zone"
EMBED More News Videos

Dan Krauth reports on the nurses who came to NYC during the height of the pandemic


abc7NY Phase Tracker:

COVID-19 Help, Information. Stimulus and Business Updates

New York City
New Jersey
Long Island
Westchester and Hudson Valley

7 On Your Side Investigates: Up to 4,000 coronavirus cases prevented by NYC contact tracers
EMBED More News Videos

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio along with local health experts have repeatedly called contact tracing a key element in preventing another spike of coronavirus in the city.

What's Open, What's Closed
Reopening New York State
Reopening New Jersey
Reopening Connecticut
Total count of NYC, Long Island COVID-19 cases based on patient address
Copyright © 2022 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.