NYC beaches prepare to kick off summer season Memorial Day weekend

NEW YORK (WABC) -- When people hit the NYC beaches this upcoming Memorial Day weekend, they will have a chance to get vaccinated.

Saturday is the official start of the beach-going season, unlike last year, which was delayed until July due to the pandemic.

This summer beaches will reopen at full capacity.

"The restrictions this year is that we're encouraging people to wear masks when they go into the comfort station, but when they're on the beach, it's up to their discretion," said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver.

The city has eight public beaches that span 14 miles.

Besides the heavy equipment keeping the shore ship-shape, there will be another type of vehicle.

Mobile vaccination buses will be stationed this weekend at Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Rockaway Beach and Orchard Beach as well as Brooklyn Bridge Park, Central Park, Flushing Meadows Corona, Prospect Park and Governors Island.

"I know here in particular in Orchard Beach we have a public address system which we will be announcing on a regular basis where the bus will be and where they can get vaccinated," said Parks Department Borough Commissioner Iris Roriguez-Rosa.

Lifeguards will be on duty starting this weekend, but there's another change: there will be no more so-called social ambassadors enforcing six-foot social distancing.

It's a turning point indeed.

"The beach is also a place where folks unfortunately who can't afford to get away make this their vacation and they couldn't do that last year, so psychologically, it also took a toll not being able to come out here," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

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