May 22, 2020
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New Hampshire beaches to open June 1 with restrictions

Charles Krupa | AP
Charles Krupa | AP
Two cyclists pass empty parking spots adjacent to Hampton Beach in Hampton, N.H., Thursday, May 21, 2020. Beaches in New Hampshire have been closed since March by state order due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak.

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CONCORD, N.H. — New Hampshire’s short stretch of coastline will reopen to swimmers, walkers and runners June 1, but sunbathers will have to wait, Gov. Chris Sununu said Friday.

The rules for reopening beaches in Hampton, North Hampton, Rye, Seabrook and New Castle include closing a portion of the main road parallel to the beach in Hampton to vehicle traffic and cutting available parking in half in state-owned lots. “Active recreation,” including surfing, will be allowed, but group sports, picnics and lounging will not.

[Our COVID-19 tracker contains the most recent information on Maine cases by county]

“What’s the line in the sand? This is not the time to drop your blanket and sit around. We want people to be moving,” Sununu said.

The announcement came as much of the state experienced its hottest weather of the year and just ahead of what usually is a busy holiday weekend for tourism.

“I know I’m giving a press conference and it’s about 85-90 degrees outside, and unfortunately beaches will not be open this weekend,” Sununu said. “We’re taking a very measured approach.”

Massachusetts beaches will reopen Monday with restrictions including, group sizes of no more than 10 people and blankets spaced at least 12-feet apart. In Maine, 10 coastal state parks will reopen June 1. Some individual towns there have reopened their beaches, with similar restrictions on sunbathing as those being enacted in New Hampshire.

Watch: Who can make reservations at Maine hotels next month?


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