New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio has confirmed that beaches will not open for the Memorial Day Weekend amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This announcement comes as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has set the stage for some parts of the state to begin phase one of their reopening plan. In celebration, some New York residents jumped outside early and began having informal gatherings outside local bars and restaurants. Furthermore, many photos taken throughout the weekend featured crowds of people not wearing face masks. Ultimately, reports of informal gatherings made their way back to De Blasio who was less than please.
“We’re not going to tolerate people starting to congregate. It’s as simple as that,” he said.
“If we have to shut places down, we will,” the mayor warned.
During the pandemic, New York has remained one of the nation’s epicenters. Over the last few months, the state has experienced more than 28,000 deaths. As a result, the mayor has cautioned against opening beaches this month.
“I’ve said before, I’m going to say again, we are not opening our beaches on Memorial Day, we are not opening our beaches in the near term. It’s not safe. It is not the right thing to do in the epicenter of this crisis,” he said.
De Blasio has gone as far as to threaten to put up fences to keep people out of the water.