Raimondo reminds beachgoers to follow guidelines

South County

WESTERLY, R.I. (WPRI) — The hot and humid weather is drawing a lot of people to the beach but the state says that not everyone is listening to their guidelines.

Gov. Gina Raimondo is reminding beachgoers to follow the guidelines and is asking people to leave the beach and come back later if there are large crowds.

“I want to call out Misquamicut Beach,” she said in her briefing Friday. “We just saw too much crowding.”

Rhode Islanders are urged to wear a face mask in high traffic areas like bathrooms, concession stands, and parking lots. They are also reminded to social distance.

“We saw a lot of people piling into cars, eight to ten people in a car, flooding onto the beach. Really close together. Crowds at pavilions, crowds at lines, not good mask-wearing,” Raimondo said.

The governor says that while she does not want to have to close down the beaches again, it is something she has considered.

“Misquamicut is a challenge there’s no doubt about it and we are still trying to wrap our heads around it honestly,” Department of Health spokesperson Michael Healey said.

Frequent Misquamicut beachgoers say they’ve seen people breaking the rules.

“I live down here in the summer so I come here pretty regularly, four to five days a week usually,” Steven Mascolo said. “On the pavilion, it sometimes gets a little tricky on like the Fourth of July weekend it gets really busy but on the beach, people are doing a good job of maintaining that social distancing.”

“It’s so crowded here I mean people stay away from each other but with how many people here it does overlap and people are close together,” Mark Vetter said.

Raimondo also adds that even though high-tide leads to a narrowed beach space, the rules still need to be followed.

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