Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced all New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware beaches will reopen beginning Friday of Memorial Day weekend with social distancing restrictions.

"As a region, we have established a joint agreement on beaches in NY, NJ, CT and DE," Cuomo tweeted during his COVID-19 briefing. "State beaches will open Friday of Memorial Day weekend with strict precautions. Beaches will be at 50% capacity & masks will be required when social distance not possible. Staff will enforce."

New Jersey announced beaches would reopen during Memorial Day weekend on Thursday.

The beaches will open with the following conditions:

  • No more than 50% capacity
  • Probitied group activities including sports like volleyball, football
  • Keep areas of social gatherings closed (picnic areas, playgrounds, pavilions, arcades and amusement parks)
  • Enforcement of social distancing for both employees and visitors
  • Requiring masks be worn for all employees and visitors when social distancing is not possible
  • Close concessions
  • Ensuring staff levels are adequate to achieve these measures and enforce crowd

"City, town and county beaches may open as well on Friday of Memorial Day weekend, as long as they fully enforce the minimum rules. They may impose additional conditions. If local governments don't enforce these rules, the beaches will be closed," Cuomo said.

Cuomo confirmed New York on PAUSE is extended for regions that don't begin reopening on Friday, but those regions can reopen once they meet the seven metrics.

"But as soon as a region hits its benchmark, it comes online immediately — it does not have to wait," Cuomo said.

The Mid-Hudson and Captial Region regions meet five of the seven metrics. New York City, Long Island and Western New York meet four metrics, as of this writing. Those regions must wait until they hit all of the metrics to start the phased reopening process.

Five regions are allowed to start Phase 1 of the reopening process. Phase 1 includes the reopening of construction, manufacturing, retail with curbside pickup, wholesale trade, agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting.

Masks must be worn by employees of open businesses across that state and masks must be provided by the employer. Customers must also wear masks, Cuomo said.

Cuomo said hospitalizations and intubations are slightly down and 132 New Yorkers died from COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, which is the same number of people who died from the virus on March 27. 22,290 Empire State residents have died from the virus.

"What happens next is up to each of us, he said. "This virus is powerful and every time we think we understand it we learn we don’t. Government alone can’t keep you safe. It’s up to you."