Chelmsford closes town beaches over social distancing concerns

Chelmsford has closed its two town beaches following reports that some members of the public were not following guidelines to keep people safe from COVID-19.

Public access to Heart Pond and Freeman Lake beaches was banned May 29 until further notice. The town had reopened the beaches May 25, following Phase 1 of the state’s reopening plan, which included beaches on the list of facilities that could resume operation as of that date.

The state imposed several restrictions for reopened beaches, including that visitors practice social distancing and wear masks when it is not feasible to remain 6 feet from others. Those rules were posted by the town at the two beaches May 22.


Town officials said the Board of Health subsequently received complaints about people not following the guidelines, and that board members also observed noncompliance. The town said the board would consider reopening the beaches once the state guidelines are lifted or upon further guidance from state officials.

John Laidler can be reached at laidler@globe.com.