The Hamptons are trying to curb the influx of tourists during the coronavirus pandemic after a “hellish” Memorial Day weekend.
On Wednesday, Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman signed an emergency order temporarily closing all town beaches to daily visitors, or “day-trippers.” On Friday, he extended the order.
According to a release sent out by Southampton, officials “received numerous complaints about litter, public urination, people not wearing masks and not obeying social distancing rules, and people camping on the beach.”
A group of 500 people turned up on a narrow stretch at the end of North Sea Road in North Sea, and cops were forced to close the beach due to social-distancing restrictions.
“After what we experienced last weekend, with droves of visitors overcrowding our beaches, we are left with no other choice [than to minimize the presence of nonresidents, in order] to prevent the resurgence of coronavirus in our community,” said Schneiderman. The order “limits the use of all town beaches, not just parking lots, to residents and legal renters and restricts roadside parking near beaches as well.”
Under the new rules, if overcrowding is evident, police will be allowed to ask sunbathers to provide proof they are living or renting in town. They may be asked for a valid New York state driver’s license or non-driver ID, utility bill or car registration showing a Southampton Town address, or proof of a rental.
These orders can only be put in place for five days. On Friday, it was extended to June 5.
Since the coronavirus hit the area, the Hamptons has seen droves of city dwellers, and expects more this summer. Last week, East Hampton Town’s board wrote a letter to Gov. Cuomo asking him to prohibit the opening of hotels and resorts until the tony enclave is further into recovery. “A summertime influx of people into our area has the potential to cause renewed outbreaks,” said the letter.