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Heading to the beach this weekend? Rules vary dramatically depending on where you are.


People enjoy the day at Ocean Grove Beach on the first day that New Jersey beaches were reopened ahead of the Memorial Day weekend. (Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)

It’s Memorial Day weekend, so more U.S. beaches are reopening — but just what that means varies from place to place.

Four states ⁠— New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware ⁠— announced plans to reopen state beaches as a group on Friday, albeit with restrictions in place including limited capacity and social distancing, officials said.

In Connecticut, face coverings will be required on boardwalks, while Delaware said its beaches were opening ⁠— for Delawareans. The state still requires anyone visiting from out of state to quarantine for 14 days, while anyone in that group can go to the beaches after waiting two weeks, according to the governor. In New Jersey, some beaches are reopening Friday and others Saturday.

Some plan to open their bathrooms, others will keep them closed. Specific beaches are also putting in place some specific restrictions, including efforts to limit visitors. In Asbury Park, for example, badges needed to access beaches will be capped. (Here’s a New Jersey-centric guide.)

Over in New York City, beaches will be open for people but swimming will not be allowed, officials say. Restrictions also vary elsewhere. Virginia Beach officials said they were reopening their beaches Friday with social distancing rules in place. North Carolina’s governor said limits on mass gatherings remain for beaches statewide, while some specific beaches also have different rules on what else is allowed.

[How to think about planning travel this summer — and if you even can in the pandemic]

In Georgia, officials have outlined plans to enforce social distancing rules, while the state’s Department of Natural Resources warned visitors that “social distancing directives remain in effect.”

Many of Florida’s beaches reopened, though not in every county. Duval County, home to Jacksonville, opened its beaches weeks ago. Tampa’s beaches similarly reopened earlier this month. In South Florida, the beaches reopened in Palm Beach County this week — while nearby Broward and Miami-Dade counties are keeping theirs closed for the time being.

Read more:

Here’s what experts want you to know before taking a road trip during the pandemic

Hawaii isn’t messing around when it comes to enforcing tourist quarantines

These 6 countries are cautiously reopening for summer travel

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