What you need to know before heading to state parks, beaches this Memorial Day

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MADISON, Conn. (WTNH) — After weeks in quarantine, many families are preparing to head to state parks and beaches to honor American heroes this Memorial Day. With the pandemic looming over us, there are concerns about crowd control.

For many, in addition to honoring those who sacrificed their lives for us all, today marks the unofficial first day of summer. Most state parks and beaches have remained open during the pandemic like Hamanosset Beach State Park, but last week state lawmakers put out some guidelines for park-goers to follow in order to remain safe.

To allow for social distancing, those headed to shoreline beaches are asked to keep fifteen feet between their blanket and the next. That accounts for the standard six-foot radius around each person, plus a three-foot walkway between groups.

Speaking of groups, Gov. Lamont’s executive order prohibits gatherings larger than five, including here at state parks and beaches.

Swimming areas at inland parks will be closed due to their limited size and lifeguards are not yet on duty at shoreline beaches, but if you do head into the water at one of these spots, leave the face mask at the blanket.

You’ll want to keep that handy though for when you are in close proximity to others.

On Friday, Rocky Neck State Park in East Lyme and Hammonassett Beach State Park here reached capacity by lunchtime so if you’re usually not morning person, you might want to give it a try today.

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