Cape Cod Reopening Task Force Issues Memorial Day Weekend Safety Reminders

The sign at the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce welcomes visitors.

HYANNIS – As Memorial Day Weekend approaches, members of the Cape Cod Reopening Task Force are reminding the public to adhere to state beach guidelines.

That includes keeping a distance of at least six feet apart when moving and 12 feet between seated groups.

Face coverings are required if you cannot keep a distance of six feet.

No large gatherings of 10 or more people are allowed and there can be no ball games played on the beach (bocce, volleyball or other close contact sports).

“If you look at the guidance that’s been put out there for how you should conduct yourself at the beach that is consistent across the region and that is consistent across the state,” said Cape and Islands State Senator Julian Cyr.  

“We’re working to make sure that information is out there in a consistent way. Whatever beach you are going to those are the behaviors and health precautions we are expecting people to take.”     

The task force has also been working on uniform signage and guidance specific to Cape and Islands beaches.

“We have been working on guidance, we have been working on signage, we’re at a point now where I think we are 95 percent done with that guidance,” said Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment Director Sean O’Brien.   

“A lot of what we are doing is trying to remain consistent with the state, the state has provided some really good guidance as well, and we are just working on some small clarifications and getting signs developed.”

O’Brien added that each town will decided whether or not lifeguards will be on duty.

Beach parking is also up to area municipalities.

“Beach administrators, which in most of our cases are the municipalities, are asked to not restrict parking below 50 percent,” continued Cyr.  

“They are able to go to 100 percent parking. So the parking questions is up to the town or the beach administrator.”

Cyr and the task force are cautiously optimistic that the Cape and Islands will have a summer season though they understand it will look different than normal summers.

The task force will be releasing an update to the guidance that was issued to the seasonal community earlier this month.

A recent traveler survey conducted by the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce found that people would feel comfortable coming to the Cape and Islands this summer.

“We had over 500 responses, we asked people would they feel comfortable returning to Cape Cod when it is safe to travel,” said Chamber CEO Wendy Northcross.  

“85 percent said yes they would feel comfortable, we asked them when they would return, 67 percent said they would travel to the Cape this summer.”

Full survey results are expected to be posted on the Chambers website.

The uniform state beach guidance can be found here

About Luke Leitner

Luke Leitner grew up in Watertown Massachusetts and now lives in West Yarmouth on the Cape. He has been a part of the news team in the News Center since the spring of 2019. He studied business communications at Western New England University.
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