Like many other summer destinations, you will be able to enjoy Massachusetts beaches this year, just a little bit differently than you are used to.
Here are a few tips to help you prepare and know what to expect before you arrive.
Get there early.
While beach access parking lots will be open, spaces may be limited to help control crowds and promote social distancing. The earlier you arrive, the more likely you are to snag a spot. The shuttle services have not yet resumed their routes, so plan your visit accordingly.
Bring a mask and keep your distance.
Masks are required whenever 6 foot social distancing isn’t possible, but do not need to be worn in the water. As for lounging groups, blankets and chairs must be kept 12 feet away from your sunbathing neighbors.
Leave the games at home
“Organized ball games” are not allowed on the beaches this summer. These include volleyball, Kan Jam, spikeball, football, soccer, Kadima, and bocce. Some equipment, like surfboards and boogie boards, may be rented on the beach, but only if they’re sanitized between uses. If you plan to use them, bring your own mask and snorkel.
Don't count on the facilities
Public bathrooms are now allowed to reopen, but many remain closed. Access to public showers and water fountains are still off limits for now, and trash cans may not be available at all sites. Plan on carrying your own trash and bringing along hand sanitizer.
Snack stands can keep serving
Concessions stands will be able to open for takeout-only, and outdoor picnic tables are ok to use where available as long as you adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Stay in Massachusetts
The rules may differ across the border into other New England states, so plan on staying local or researching your destination online before hitting the road.
Swimming is "most likely safe"
While there is evidence to suggest COVID-19 can live in water, it is probably not present in strong enough concentrations to infect you. Person to person contact remains the most likely cause of infection, so you can feel free to wade out to sea!
You do not need to wear a mask in the water
Wearing a face covering while swimming is not only unnecessary, it's dangerous! Plan on keeping six feet of space between yourself and other swimmers, and be sure your disposable masks do not end up as floating ocean litter.