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LI beach permits and access to be restricted for Memorial Day, beyond

Lifeguard stands at Tobay Beach in Massapequa got

Lifeguard stands at Tobay Beach in Massapequa got a fresh coat of paint recently in preparation for visitors expected to descend on Memorial Day weekend. Credit: James Carbone

This story was reported by Dandan ZouDenise M. Bonilla, Vera Chinese, Carl MacGowan, Deborah S. Morris, John Asbury, Ted Phillips and Keldy Ortiz. It was written by Ortiz.

Only Nassau and Suffolk County residents and renters will be allowed to use their passes and permits for beach access and parking when beaches open Friday, while other municipalities plan to offer day passes to nonresidents and nonrenters in the weeks to come.

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said that three town beaches — Ponquogue Beach in Hampton Bays, Sagg Main in Bridgehampton and Long Beach in Sag Harbor — will be open to those with seasonal permits and that the town will not offer day passes to anyone. Schneiderman said picnic tables at Ponquogue will be removed and the town parks department will be reconfiguring pedestrian traffic flow at public facilities to remove “pinch points” that don’t allow for 6 feet of social distancing.

“We’ve thought of everything, including a plane to pull a banner that says maintain social distancing,” Schneiderman said. “But we’re not inviting people to come. The beaches during this pandemic are really for our residents and those who are renting.”

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, several towns have issued passes and permits after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced beaches in the state can open, but only at 50% capacity.

In Long Beach, annual beach passes will only be sold to residents, and residents buying daily passes on the boardwalk will be required to show identification. The city will honor any seasonal beach passes purchased earlier this week by nonresidents. The city will allow seniors to buy passes from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The Town of North Hempstead announced this week that it will waive both daily and annual parking fees at the North Hempstead Beach Park in Port Washington.

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In the past, town residents were eligible to purchase an annual parking pass, which cost from $25 to $50, according to the town website. The daily fee, in effect between Memorial Day and Labor Day, was $15 for residents and $20 for visitors per vehicle.

“I don’t see how you can charge people for a pass and then can’t guarantee that they are actually going to be able to enjoy the beach,” Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said Wednesday, noting the reduced capacity at the beach. “We are trying to do whatever we can to limit contact between residents and our employees to contain the likelihood of the spread of the virus.”

Only town residents, however, will be allowed access to the beach this season when it opens to swimming on Memorial Day.

“It doesn’t make me happy to say that it’s North Hempstead residents only,” Bosworth said. “We are right on the boundary line of New York City. We can’t have people from New York City. And I feel bad for them. But we have to make sure the beach is there for our residents.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city’s beaches will not reopen for the holiday.

Oyster Bay Town has restricted beach access to residents only this year. In the past nonresidents could obtain certain beach passes that, depending on the category, might only provide limited beach access. Seasonal stickers for town residents are on sale for $60 daily from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Tobay Beach, Philip B. Healey Beach, Tappen Beach, Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park and Beach, and John J. Burns Town Park in Massapequa. Resident day parking passes cost $20. Resident seniors and those with disabilities can obtain free seasonal beach stickers by showing their driver’s license and registration at the beach.

In Glen Cove, Pryibil and Morgan Park beaches will open Saturday for swimming. Pryibil Beach is free for Glen Cove residents and Morgan Park Beach is free for Glen Cove and Locust Valley residents. Residents may obtain beach stickers for their vehicles at the beach by showing their driver’s license and registration. Nonresidents may not obtain beach stickers. Face coverings will be required as is 6 feet of social distancing.

In Bellport, Mayor Ray Fell said Ho-Hum Beach on Fire Island won’t open on Memorial Day weekend because repairs to the bulkhead at the village dock won’t be completed by then. He said those repairs should be finished by June 1, and the beach, open only to village residents, may open in mid-June. Fell said the Bellport ferry also must be inspected by the Coast Guard before it goes into operation, and that it will be limited to 50% capacity.

“We just have to get through a couple of issues before we open our beaches,” Fell said. 

Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin said there will be a daily resident beach parking fee of $10 per car and a $50 charge for nonresidents.

Huntington Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci said in a news release that town beaches will be open only to residents for the summer season. Starting this weekend, Crab Meadow Beach, Centerport Beach, Hobart Beach and Quentin Sammis West Neck Beach will be open with limited capacity and with face masks required for entry. Parking is free and a permit will not be needed; only proof of residency with a driver’s license. The remaining town beaches will open on subsequent weekends, and beach parking permits will be sold starting May 30.

An Islip Town representative said recreation cards, which are good for two years and provide access to most mainland beach areas, are being issued. There are no refunds being offered.

Brookhaven Town announced Tuesday that four beaches — Davis Park on Fire Island, Corey Beach in Blue Point, West Meadow in Stony Brook and Cedar Beach in Mount Sinai — will open this weekend for town residents only. Umbrellas and blankets are permitted, but social distancing rules must be followed, and face coverings are required in areas off the beach. Parking will be limited to 50% of capacity. Lifeguards will be on duty this weekend and bathers can go in the water, but swimming will be prohibited, officials said. Lifeguards will not be on duty on weekdays, town officials added.

Babylon Town officials said resident recreation permits will go on sale June 1 at a reduced price of $35. The permits will be required starting June 6 at Overlook Beach, Cedar Beach and Gilgo Beach, and June 26 at Cedar Beach Marina Campground.

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