By Julianne Mosher
The Town of Islip has just announced guidelines for beachgoers over Memorial Day weekend — as the state slowly begins to reopen amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Starting Saturday, May 23, mainland beaches, including Sayville Marina Park Beach, Bayport Beach, West Islip Beach, Benjamin’s Beach at Bay Shore Marina, Islip Beach, East Islip Marina Park Beach and Lake Ronkonkoma, will be open daily for public access and passive use from 10 a.m until 6 p.m.
Swimming at these locations will be prohibited, and they will only be open to Town of Islip residents.
Town recreational cards or other ID will be required to enter. This is all until further notice, and not the permanent summer protocols.
“We realize that residents are looking forward to enjoying the Memorial Day holiday weekend, but they must be mindful while being outdoors,” Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter said.
Facilities at the mainland beaches will be closed — including the bathrooms — and capacity will be cut by 50 percent, which will be continuously monitored.
“I am urging everyone to be considerate of one another by following the [state] protocols for wearing a mask and social distancing,” Carpenter said. “As we work to reopen New York, we must recognize that we are all individually responsible for the progress we have made as a county and a state, but we are not yet out of the woods.”
The town also has jurisdiction over Atlantique Ocean Beach on Fire Island, which will have different protocols.
On May 23, 24 and 25, swimming and recreation will be allowed on the beach from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. During this time, lifeguards will be on duty and bathrooms will be open with sanitizing and cleaning on a regular basis.
Social distancing is required as are masks while within six feet of others. Beach goers sitting in chairs or on towels (at safe distances from others) will not have to wear a mask.