NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — Beaches across Rhode Island are slowly reopening back up to the public after being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The city of Newport has announced a limited reopening of Easton’s Beach starting Thursday. The city hopes — even with limited capacity — to provide Newport residents with an opportunity to relax and enjoy the summer at one of the city’s most popular attractions.
Beachgoers are advised that the beach lot will be open and lifeguards will be on staff daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Restrooms will be open however the city’s reserved bathhouses will remain closed. Concessions at the beach, including Easton’s Beach Snackbar, will be opening with enhanced protocols to ensure the health and safety of all customers.
Parking capacity will be capped at 300 cars with limited parking for Newport residents available in the West lot. Daily parking rates will be set at $15 on weekdays and $25 on weekends. Parking fees will be collected by debit or credit cards only.
Seasonal beach parking stickers will be available to Newport residents only for $50 per sticker, or $30 for those 65-years-old and older through an application on their website. Applicants are required to provide a copy of a valid driver’s license and current vehicle registration showing plate number and expiration date. Applications will be processed in the order they are received and stickers will be issued through the mail only.
The city says all beachgoers will be asked to practice social distancing and to abide by all guidelines issued by the health department and Gov. Gina Raimondo. They also advise that due to the evolving nature of the virus, further operational adjustments may be made as the season progresses.
For now, other attractions at the beach, including the carousel, Save the Bay Aquarium, and the city’s weekly concert series have been suspended until further notice. Easton’s Beach playground and Rotunda Ballroom will also be off-limits upon reopening.
The city adds that in order to help keep the beach open and running smoothly, they are looking to hire for all seasonal staff positions — lifeguards, laborer/attendants and restroom aids. Anyone interested in submitting an application can do so by visiting the city’s website and downloading the Application for City Employment.