Coronavirus

‘This weekend will be our first big test’: Officials emphasize mandates for visiting Revere Beach

“Let this Memorial Day be a start of a wonderful summer. But remember, there is a DANGER sign in sight.”

Orange barrels lined up along Revere Beach Boulevard to prevent parking and help keep social distancing during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. David L. Ryan / Boston Globe

Gov. Charlie Baker wasn’t the only official with firm words Friday for residents celebrating the Memorial Day weekend amid the coronavirus pandemic

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Officials in Revere reminded residents during a Friday press conference that the state’s reopening of beaches doesn’t begin until Monday, reiterating the mandates that visitors follow social distancing guidelines, wear face coverings, and that gatherings of more than 10 people remain prohibited. Until Monday, beaches are only open for transitory activities like walking and jogging.

But news station helicopters captured crowded scenes Friday at beaches in and outside of Boston, with people basking in summer temperatures. 

According to Boston 25 News, Revere Police are planning an increased presence on city streets to close off parking along Revere Beach, and the city is enforcing public safety measures. 

Restaurants along the boulevard will remain open only for curbside pickup and lines will not be allowed to form, according to the station. 

“Our guidance for this weekend is crystal clear,”  Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo said during Friday’s press conference, according to NECN. “You are safer at home.”

Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides urged state residents to avoid crowded beach spots. 

“If you show up at a park and the park is crowded, please consider leaving that area and coming back at a different time or visiting a different park,” Theoharides said, according to Boston 25 News. “Our state park system has over 450,000 acres of beach properties including 77 inland and coastal beaches, and every region of the state has a hidden gem.”

Ahead of the weekend, Arrigo penned a message reminding his constituents that the warm weather will bring about a new “battle zone,” requiring everyone to exercise “greater self-control, continued sacrifice, and more patience” to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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“This weekend will be our first big test,” the mayor wrote. “Memorial Day is traditionally the start of our New England summer, and inevitably we will want to gather for cookouts and some long-awaited outdoor activity.  We can, but we must be careful. We can enjoy a pleasant Memorial Day weekend while we are careful.  Small gatherings of 10 people or less, social distancing, masks, resisting the urge to hug a loved one and high-five a friend—these are the simple but crucial examples of self-discipline that will protect everyone.”

As of Friday, 1,534 residents in Revere have been diagnosed with coronavirus and 67 people have died. 

The next three months will be very different from three that have just passed, Arrigo wrote. Danger, he said, lurks in the new opportunities arising with the state’s reopening. 

“We must not let our guard down,” Arrigo said. “As in any situation where a “DANGER” sign warns us of peril, we can avoid the harm if we are careful. Let this Memorial Day be a start of a wonderful summer. But remember, there is a DANGER sign in sight.  Continue to be careful, and to take care of each other.  Self-control, sacrifice, and patience have been effective thus far, and will be our most important allies in this unique summer of 2020.”

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