If you’re dying for some beach time but concerned about social distancing, it seems Gloucester is the place to be this weekend — but for residents only.
After complaints of excessive traffic clogging up roadways last weekend, city officials decided to bar non-residents from entering the local parking lots on Saturday and Sunday. It was bad news for visitors hoping to check out Gloucester’s sunny shores, but it’s apparently working out well for the locals, who are finding wide-open beaches waiting amid this weekend’s heat wave.
Meanwhile, beaches without such restrictions are seeing what look like typical summer crowds, with groups at M Street Beach in South Boston pressed close together with nary a mask in sight.
George Annas, director of the Center for Health Law, Ethics and Human Rights at Boston University’s School of Public Health, told the Boston Globe that he hopes people will take officials guidance on safe behavior to heart in order to avoid more stringent enforcement if coronavirus cases increase.
“Obviously the last thing we want to do is turn into Florida, so the state can’t ignore mass gatherings without face coverings or social distancing,” Annas told the Globe. “Nonetheless, it is an extremely hot weekend day and at least some people may simply be testing the limits to see how seriously the distancing guidelines are on beaches.”
Here’s what some of the local beaches looked like Saturday: