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Western New York beaches open under new rules

You can enjoy the sun and sand this Memorial Day weekend, but there are a few things you need to know before you go.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Life is a beach again in Western New York.

Just in time for the Memorial Day weekend, area beaches are reopening, but under new rules to comply with state mandates regarding coronavirus.

The State of New York operates several beaches in the region and says they will be open at “half capacity.”

According to the state’s parks department, it will attempt to control the number of beach-goers by allowing only half as many cars into beach parking lots as there are spaces.

Sun, sand, and social distancing

While swimmers and sunbathers aren’t required to wear masks while on the beach, they are asked to don them while using access trails to the beaches, or while visiting park amenities such as restrooms, which will also open at half capacity.

Once on the beach, visitors are asked to keep in groups of 10 or fewer persons and to keep their groups at least 10 feet apart from others.

“It takes a lot of it takes trust in your neighbor, so we all need to be on the same page in terms of what's the new etiquette to make sure you don't get someone else sick," New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan (D-147th District) said during a news conference Friday at Woodlawn Beach.

Ryan also noted that while a beach visit with new rules in place might be different than it was a year ago, it is not all that different than what people are asked to do anywhere else in public these days.

There’s always a bright side

While under new restrictions, attendance limits may find beach-goers who are fortunate enough not to be shutout enjoying less crowded conditions

And for those old enough to remember reading the Charles Atlas ads in the comic books of their youth, you may not have to worry about that bully kicking sand in your face any longer.

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