The Cape Cod National Seashore is limiting services this summer due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Brian Carlstrom, superintendent of the Cape Cod National Seashore, announced the changes on Wednesday ahead of the seashore’s official opening date of July 2. The seashore is comprised of six beaches: Coast Guard Beach, Head of the Meadow Beach, Herring Cove Beach, Marconi Beach, Nauset Light Beach, and Race Point Beach.
Visitor centers will be closed, according to Carlstrom, but rangers will still provide information and orientation services outside on center grounds. There will be no programming, and historic buildings will be closed as well.
Due to staffing reductions, two beaches will not have lifeguards this summer: Herring Cove Beach and Head of the Meadow Beach. The other four beaches — Coast Guard, Marconi, Nauset Light, and Race Point — will staff lifeguards from July 2 through Labor Day. All beaches will offer bathroom facilities that will be sanitized on a regular basis, but there will be no public showers.
Visitors will pay fees starting July 2 at the four beaches with lifeguards and also at the Herring Cove entrance gate. Fees will not be collected at Head of the Meadow Beach this season.
Beachgoers should follow the state’s rules and regulations for beaches outlined by Gov. Charlie Baker, according to Carlstrom, which includes crowd size, masks, activities, and social distancing.
“This is clearly a summer like no other,” said Carlstrom in a press release. “This is the first time in history that Cape Cod National Seashore will operate during a global pandemic. Even in these unusual times, we will provide public access and do our best to educate the public about how to safely recreate during the pandemic, while reminding them of regular safety precautions they need to take when visiting the wild and wonderful beaches on the Outer Cape.”