New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Friday the state would join New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware in reopening beaches for the Memorial Day weekend, Cuomo said the reopening of beaches was aimed at preventing people from crossing state borders for a respite from the coronavirus lockdown.
The move is part of a broader loosening of restrictions in New York, which gave the green light on Friday to five of 10 regions outside urban areas to start reopening their economies, starting with construction and manufacturing work.
Cuomo was following his counterpart in New Jersey, Phil Murphy, who on Thursday announced he would open his state's beaches for the traditional May 23-25 start of summer, news that was welcomed by many beachgoers eyeing the Jersey shore.
"If we don't open our beaches people will go to New Jersey beaches, I promise you that," Cuomo said, adding with exaggeration that he wanted to prevent "4 million New Yorkers" from heading to New Jersey or Connecticut to get some sun.
Even while relaxing restrictions, Cuomo stressed that New York would continue to pursue a science-based approach that was "all about the numbers and the facts," warning that moving too quickly could spark a new wave of cases.