New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he will allow boatyards and marinas to open, noting the COVID-19 “situation is improving,” though cautioning the seriousness of the still-present novel coronavirus.
There are restrictions, to that end. According to state directive, businesses “will be open for personal use as long as strict social distancing and sanitization protocols are followed.”
Chartered watercraft services or rentals will not be allowed, and restaurant activity at these sites must be limited to takeout or delivery only.
Connecticut and New Jersey adopted the same guidelines. Earlier in the week, Cuomo announced states in the Atlantic corridor would work together to maximize enforcement and efficiency. Rhode Island is expected to open its marinas as well. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a similar directive.
“Throughout this pandemic, we’ve worked closely with our friends in neighboring states to implement a uniform regional approach to reducing the spread of the virus,” Cuomo said April 18. “Aligning our policies in this area is another example of that strong partnership, and will help ensure there is no confusion or ‘state shopping’ when it comes to marinas and boatyards.”
Following a second appeal by operators since the virus struck, some golf courses will also reopen, according to a state decision issued April 17. Private courses can now allow golfers to walk the fairways, but they must carry their own bags. State and other public courses are still closed, but municipally-owned courses can open under restrictions, with local officials making those final determination. State officials said no employees — caddies, bartenders, or others — can work on any course unless involved in essential services like grounds maintenance.
Montauk Park Patrol
By Jessica Mackin-Cipro
After voicing concerns about the numbers of visitors to state parks within the Town of East Hampton, and urging New York act to ensure adherence to safe social distancing requirements in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc was notified April 18 that additional state park police and state police officers will be deployed to monitor parks in Montauk, according to a press release.
Officers have begun enforcing social distancing, limiting visitors, and closing the parks when they reach social distancing capacity, according to Theresa Santoro, Cuomo’s regional representative for Suffolk County. The enforcement officers will be working increased hours to address the crowds, she said.
“I applaud Governor Cuomo and his staff for their leadership and responsiveness to my request and our residents’ concerns,” Van Scoyoc said. “As spring weather continues drawing people outdoors to use parklands and beaches, town officials will be implementing additional measures, as needed, to reduce risk and insure compliance with social distancing and other mandates.”