The Town of Southampton has unveiled its plans for reopening beaches for the summer. The Town will utilize a phased reopening in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Starting Saturday, May 23, Ponquogue Beach in Hampton Bays, Sagg Main Beach in Sagaponack and Long Beach in Sag Harbor will be staffed with lifeguards and beach attendants on weekends only. Restrooms will be open, while concessions will only serve takeout.
Also beginning May 23, permits are required at all beaches and access roads. Permits, both residential and non-residential, will be sold at Ponquogue, Sagg Main and Long Beach on weekends, and beach permits applications can be found online on the Town’s website (www.southamptontownny.gov). Existing 2019 beach permits are valid through Tuesday, June 30. The Town will no longer sell daily permits, until further notice.
Picnic tables and benches will not be put out at this time and beach-goers must respect the CDC social distance guidelines of 6 feet. Contact sports and the sharing of sports equipment are prohibited, as is congregating in groups.
The Town plans to assess beach operations weekly “with the hope to staff more beaches on weekends later in June and to operate seven days a week in July.”
Southampton Village Mayor Jesse Warren shared the Village’s plans on Instagram: “Beach Plan Phase 1. We are pleased to announce Phase One of our beach plan. This will extend until Friday, June 26. 1. Southampton Village residents can receive 3 beach passes. Please visit www.southamptonvillage.org for more information on how to get your beach pass by mail. 2. All residents in our school and fire district will be able to purchase one pass at the discounted rate. 3. Those renting for 30 days or more will be eligible to purchase one beach pass per household. 4. We will start Village passes at Coopers on Friday 5/22. This will give the public one additional week to obtain their pass. 5. We will stop the sale of summer seasonal passes to non residents. 6. There will not be daily beach pass sales through phase one. 7. NO tour busses will be permitted to drop off, but shuttles can do so. We will have lifeguards at @coopersbeach and we are proud to hire additional part time and seasonal @southamptonvillagepolice officers to help at our beaches. Cooper’s Beach bathrooms will be open and cleaned every 30-60 minutes with single use only. Children 10 years or younger can be accompanied by a parent. We are looking into pricing for touch-less sinks and toilets for now and the future.”
In April, in response to an unusually large number of visitors at East Hampton Town beaches and outdoor recreation areas East Hampton Town began enforcing summer beach parking restrictions nearly a month early.
The Town will enforce the parking limits starting on Friday, April 24 to prevent overcrowding at Town bay, ocean beaches, and parks, and as a means to comply with safeguards put into place to help flatten the curve. Resident-only and permit-only parking restrictions will be strictly enforced.
The sale of non-resident parking, beach driving, and launch ramp permits was suspended on Wednesday, April 22. Permits that have already been issued will remain valid until their expiration dates, at which point they will not be extended.
East Hampton Town recently announced that starting Saturday, May 23, Indian Wells and Atlantic Avenue beaches in Amagansett, South Edison and Ditch Plains beaches in Montauk will be open and lifeguarded from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends only. Beach capacity will be reduced.
The Town notes residents and visitors are asked to cooperate with COVID-19 safety protocols, which include: “Beachgoers will be asked to observe town regulations that comply with recommendations developed by Long Island supervisors, and by a county task force on beach reopenings that included Supervisor Van Scoyoc. They are consistent with state regulations. The towns’ reopening plans were coordinated in order to avoid an influx to any particular Long Island beaches. Masks or face-coverings will be required and must be worn in parking and bathroom areas, beach entrances and exits, while walking around the beach, and whenever 6-foot distance from others cannot be maintained. No groups will be allowed, except for family or household groups. Blankets and chairs on the beach should be at least 10 feet apart. Social distancing of at least six feet between individuals must be practiced on the beach. Beach sports will not be allowed. There will be separate beach entrance and exit areas.”
Public bathrooms will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at beaches, as well as at the Amagansett municipal parking lot, and the Montauk police precinct building will be disinfected regularly and locked at night.
To help ensure beach-goers are complying with COVID-19 safety protocols, parks and recreation staff will be stationed at the beach entrance booths at Indian Wells and Ditch Plains beaches, as well as at the beach heads and comfort stations. Additionally, East Hampton Town Police Department traffic control officers will be stationed at Indian Wells, Atlantic Avenue, South Edison and Ditch Plains parking lots, while Marine Patrols, in quads or 4×4 vehicles, will be stationed at Indian Wells & Atlantic Avenue, the Napeague Lane area, and the Montauk beaches.
East Hampton Town will also review beach operation plans regularly. Bay beaches and the Kirk Park and downtown Montauk ocean beaches are expected to open in late June.
“The opening of beaches on a trial basis will be closely monitored. We ask for everyone’s patience and cooperation so that we may all enjoy continued progress against COVID-19, and make the best of a summer that will be like no other,” Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said.