Tri-State Area Golfers, Boaters Get Reopening Wish, But Strict Social Distancing Rules Apply

By CBS New York

21 April 2020

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ordered that marinas and many golf courses can reopen with safety restrictions after initially being closed to contain the COVID-19 virus.

Following appeals from frustrated golfers, and lobbying from boaters, the decision to reopen also came from the governors of New Jersey and Connecticut, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Monday.

When asked if he’s pleased by the news, fly fishing shop owner Paul McCain said, “Oh, absolutely. I actually own a fly shop, a fly fishing store, so I actually just came down to see if the ramp was open.”

Marinas and boatyards may now open for personal use under strict social distancing protocols that include new sanitizing and mooring rules.

“You’re not taking it out to the bay and tying it together to have a party out there. We have to do this smart,” Hempstead Town Supervisor Donald Clavin said.

In addition, private and municipally owned golf courses can once again allow players to walk the fairways, but they must carry their own bags.

“The governor has said that municipalities can start putting plans in place to reopen golf and that is exactly what we’re doing,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said.

No employee may work on any course unless involved in essential services. Clubhouses and locker rooms remain closed.

“Have to be very, very careful. This virus is very contagious,” one person said.

“Precaution and everybody is safe and I think it would be a good idea to gradually get everything back working,” another person said.

Golfers and boaters must adhere to strict social distancing rules by keeping at least six feet apart at all times. Public safety officers will join police and bay constables to enforce the law.

“Respectfully as we can, we are going to ask them not to gather in those social groups. People have got to start using common sense. This is the new norm,” Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said.

The changes come amid an effort to rein in the coronavirus. Golfers and boaters were leaving to find open courses and marinas in other states and returning home, McLogan reported.

There is pressure from the industries. Boating and golf on Long Island combine to produce 100,000 jobs and generate $5 billion a year in the local economy.

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