Cuomo: New York beaches and pools could be open at 100% capacity by July 4


ALBANY — Pack your sunscreen and grab a towel because New York beaches and pools could be open at 100% capacity by the Fourth of July if COVID rates continue to fall, Gov. Cuomo said Wednesday.

Memorial Day will still be the official opening day of the beach season, but those hoping to soak up some sun and play in the sand must maintain at least six feet of social distancing, which limits the number of people at each beach or pool.

The governor said he’s hopeful that the Empire State’s plummeting coronavirus numbers will mean such limits can be relaxed in time for July 4.

“We need to get ready for a great summer,” the governor said during a briefing in Buffalo. “The weather is turning. The winter is over. We need to get on with life and we want to have a great summer.

“So if the numbers keep going the way they’re going we are going to be able to do that. So we would actually be able to have a normal summer finally in beaches and pools,” he added.

Mayor de Blasio already announced that all of the city’s eight public beaches will open for Memorial Day weekend. The city’s 48 public pools will open on June 26.

State Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Nassau), who last month called on state health officials to allow beaches to reopen fully to the public, praised the projected date.

“I have called for a full reopening of our beaches, and today’s guidance is an important step toward that goal,” he said. “Envisioning a normal summer on the beach means that we can expect businesses and coastal economies to thrive again, and for families to enjoy the beautiful, natural resources that make Long Island special.”

Cuomo made the announcement during a press briefing in Buffalo, where the Toronto Blue Jays are scheduled to play home games in the coming weeks since the Canadian border is closed to nonessential travel.