Coronavirus News: NYC council differs from mayor, recommends beaches be open for swimming

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- No swimming will occur at New York City beaches for the foreseeable future, but that didn't stop members of the City Council from showing their apparent frustration with Mayor Bill de Blasio's decision.

The City Council released its own recommendations which call for beach-goers to be allowed to go in the water.

The guidelines, released by City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Council Members representing neighborhoods with beaches, claim the city is able to provide for proper social distancing to avoid spreading the coronavirus, both at the destination and on the way to and from beaches.

"Access to city beaches isn't just a summer fun issue. It is an equity issue and a public health issue," Johnson said. "New Yorkers have done an amazing job coming together to flatten the curve and stop the spread so far. They deserve clear guidelines on how to safely enjoy city beaches as the summer heat approaches."

The recommendations call for reducing capacity at city beaches and sectioning off different parts of the sand to allow people to enjoy the water, sunbathe simply move around while keeping a safe distance.

Furthermore, the council wants to allow restaurants adjacent to beaches to open, bathrooms to be kept open,lifeguards to be provided with PPE and an increase in trash receptacles to minimize litter.

Mayor de Blasio decided this week to reopen the city's beaches ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, but not allow swimming.

De Blasio said the decision on beaches will stay in place even if the city enters phase one of reopening.

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