Officials close beach parking lots in Mass., NH to slow spread of coronavirus

BOSTON (WHDH) - With Massachusetts residents and Granite Staters flocking to the coast for fresh air during coronavirus isolation, officials have been forced to close beach parking lots in an effort to slow the spread of the potentially deadly disease.

“We are seeing an uptick in people visiting the town, particularly the beach area,” said Domenico Sestito, of the Hull Board of Selectman.

Sestito says crowds have been growing at Nantasket Beach in recent days as people stuck at home venture out for walks along the ocean.

“Hull gets very busy and quite frankly, I get it,” Sestito said. “It’s beautiful out and people are stuck inside.”

The beach is spacious enough to handle large crowds of socially-distant people at low tide but visitors are getting too close to each other in the parking lot.

“The parking lots are fairly crowded, so what happens is you have cars within a foot or two feet of each other,” Sestito said. “The sidewalks get crowded and they’re within that six-foot radius of each other. We’re very concerned.”

Hull has since asked Gov. Charlie Baker to close the state beach’s parking lot.

Officials in Falmouth have already put up barriers in beach parking lots. Police in New Hampshire have also blocked off parking spaces near Hampton Beach.

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo announced that the closure of all state beaches and parks beginning Friday after residents were caught ignoring social distancing guidelines.

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