State beaches and several town beaches in New Hampshire reopened for recreational activities Monday under Governor Chris Sununu’s revised stay-at-home guidance.
The governor’s plan offered guidelines specific to several beaches: Hampton Beach, Rye Beach, Seabrook Beach, beaches in North Hampton, beaches in New Castle. The reopening comes as New Hampshire reported 34 new coronavirus cases and no new deaths since Sunday. A total of 4,685 residents have tested positive for the virus, and 245 people statewide have died.
Under the “Stay At Home 2.0″ order, the beaches reopened for “transitory physical activity,” such as walking, running, swimming, surfing, kayaking, and paddle boarding. All sand sports, sun bathing, picnicking, and other stationary activities were prohibited. All visitors must keep a distance of 6 feet between themselves and others.
Crowds must be limited to 10 people or fewer, officials said. Local law enforcement will keep a close eye on visitors, with the goal of keeping time spent at the beach to a minimum.
“While we understand that many people have been longing for the beaches to open, we request that everyone respect and acknowledge that crowds form in an organic nature when it is observed that one or some are staying in place,” Rye Police Chief Kevin Walsh said in a statement.
No public parking is allowed along Route 1A and Route 1B except in state parks, according to the plan. All public parking lots are limited to 50 percent capacity, not including employee parking and leased parking spots.
People are not allowed to be dropped off at the beaches using transportation such as buses, taxis, ride services, or private vehicles, state officials said.
State officials offered guidance to beach businesses that want to reopen, including both retail and food businesses, such as how to mitigate exposure and plan for potential coronavirus cases. Hand sanitizer must be available to employees and customers, and businesses must disinfect frequently touched areas “at least every two hours,” officials said.
Temperatures along the state’s coast hovered around 60 degrees with partly cloudy skies Monday afternoon, with the temperatures rising to mid- to high-70s by Saturday.
Matt Berg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mattberg33.