‘It’s going to be different’: Cape Cod beachgoers may have to follow list of rules this summer

BARNSTABLE, MASS. (WHDH) - With Memorial Day and summer fast approaching, officials on Cape Cod are weighing whether to impose a long list of rules that would guard against the spread of coronavirus.

“The experience at the beach is not going to be what we’re used to,” Cape Cod National Seashore Superintendant Brian Carlstrom told 7NEWS. “It’s going to be different.”

Carlstrom is a member of a committee that has been tasked with providing Gov. Charlie Baker with a plan on how beachgoers can safely enjoy the sand and sun this summer.

The committee is proposing cutting the number of cars allowed in parking lots by 50 percent, limiting the number of people sitting together to 10, and keeping groups 12 feet apart from one another.

“How wide is a typical beach umbrella? Six feet. Two beach umbrellas. That might be a way to think about it,” Carlstrom said. “I’m pretty sure as you approach the beaches, there will be distances marked off like we’re seeing in the supermarkets.”

The committee is also suggesting to close public beach restrooms and showers, banning volleyball and bocci games, and requiring everyone to wear a mask.

Despite the highly contagious nature of the coronavirus, not all Cape officials are in favor of enforcing the proposed rules.

Yarmouth selectman Norm Holcomb called the committee’s ideas “preposterous.”

“I think trying to legislate how people go to the beach is on the ridiculous side,” Holcomb said. “Trying to enforce strict regulations is probably nonsensical. Let’s try to educate people on the risks involved and let them make the right decisions.”

If the rules go into effect, more lifeguards would likely be needed, but 7NEWS has learned that beaches are having difficulty finding people who are interested.

Baker could approve the rules prior to Memorial Day weekend.

Click here for more coronavirus coverage.

(Copyright (c) 2020 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)