Beach Capacity Could Be Limited If Crowds Don't Socially Distance

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — There could be limits put on state beach capacities if beach-goers can't maintain safe distances and follow other COVID-19 safety measures, according to Gov. Charlie Baker.

With temperatures creeping into the 90's since the start of July, Gov. Baker said Massachusetts beaches have become overcrowded.

"We've seen a lot of reports over the course of the last few weeks about crowding at beaches," said Baker at a press conference on Friday. "Over the past weekend, the crowding at the M-street beach in South Boston was particularly oppressive. It's a great beach, and we're happy to see people heading outside during their free time. But the crowding and the behavior that our folks saw out there last weekend, simply cannot continue."

Baker's warning follows last weekend's heatwave, when thousands packed the beach in South Boston. According to the Boston Globe, photos showed many beach-goers failing to socially distance or wear face masks.

"If people can't space out, and can't do the things that everyone else is doing, with respect to face coverings, social distancing, and good hygiene, then we'll have to limit the number of people who can be there," said Baker. "That's not something we want to do. We want people to simply use their heads and be responsible."

In early June, the Baker Administration released general guidelines for coastal and inland beaches during Phase Two of the state's reopening plan.

The guidelines state that "all persons over the age of two must wear a face covering when they attend outdoor gatherings if the circumstances of the gathering could limit their ability to maintain at least six feet of distance from others, unless they are prevented from wearing a face covering by a medical or disabling condition."

It also says beach capacity should be managed to accommodate a minimum of 12 feet distance between toweling/beach blanket groups, and that toweling/Beach blanket groups are limited to groups no larger than 10.

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(Photo: Getty Images)

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