Westport Issues Warning Of Possible Beach Closures This Weekend

WESTPORT, CT — Extreme heat, and possible overcrowded conditions during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, may require the closure of Westport’s beaches this weekend, town officials warned.

“In an abundance of caution and to insure public health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the beach reaches a capacity where it is deemed impossible to maintain social distancing, it will be closed to additional beachgoers,” officials said in a statement.

If that happens, incoming traffic will be diverted away from the beach, and drop offs will not be allowed, according to officials.

Closures may occur in mid- to late-morning, but the beach may be reopened later in the day if conditions become safer and social distancing is possible.

“Your anticipated cooperation, patience and understanding with the town staff and police who will be enforcing and maintaining traffic and crowd control during these unprecedented times is appreciated,” said First Selectman Jim Marpe. “I have the utmost confidence that town health and safety officials have only the best interests of residents and guests in mind when making these difficult decisions.”

Read the full announcement below:

Due to the impending extreme heat forecasted for this coming weekend, increased vehicular and pedestrian traffic is anticipated at Westport beaches. In an abundance of caution and to insure public health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the beach reaches a capacity where it is deemed impossible to maintain social distancing, it will be closed to additional beachgoers. Signage at key intersections on local roadways will inform drivers if the beach is closed, and traffic will be diverted from the area. Drop offs will not be allowed.

Experience shows that these types of crowded conditions are observed starting from mid to late mornings. We advise those residents who wish to spend the day at the beach to arrive before 10am. The beach may re-open mid to late afternoon, provided safer conditions relative to crowds and social distancing are observed at that time. The Town will make every effort to inform residents of the current conditions throughout the day via the Town of Westport and Parks and Recreation Department website homepages and the Town and Parks and Recreation Facebook pages so residents may plan their beach trip accordingly.

While in the Compo Beach area, you are reminded to wear masks when walking on the beach boardwalk, using the restrooms or area sidewalks, or at any other time when you are unable to maintain a six foot distance from others.

First Selectman Marpe stated, “Your anticipated cooperation, patience and understanding with the town staff and police who will be enforcing and maintaining traffic and crowd control during these unprecedented times is appreciated. I have the utmost confidence that town health and safety officials have only the best interests of residents and guests in mind when making these difficult decisions. I also know that Westporters understand and accept the gravity of the current health crisis. I am grateful that we are at a point where our town amenities may be open and thriving. But now more than ever, we must enjoy them in a safe and responsible manner while respecting our family, neighbors and friends.”

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This article originally appeared on the Westport Patch

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