GLOUCESTER (CBS) – With temperatures expected to soar into the high ’90s this weekend, local beaches may be busier than usual. One Massachusetts community is making sure there’s plenty of space for its residents. Gloucester is banning beach parking for out-of-town visitors this weekend after complaints of excessive traffic last weekend.
East Gloucester resident, Barbara Ouellette, agreed with the mayor’s decision. “Gloucester residents, on the weekends, can’t even come to the beach.” Ouellette said visitors left a mess behind for residents to clean-up.
“People left trash all of over the beaches,” Ouellette said. “They parked in residential parking areas, the side streets. They parked halfway across people’s driveways. It was just awful.”
To slow the spread of COVID-19, officials are limiting the number of non-residents and only allowing beach parking on weekdays. After taking the long drive, Andrew Doxer, of Newton, decided to stay at a nearby campground for easier access to the beach.
“So you’re able to have one person drop everyone off. Drop all the gear off. That person drives back to the campgrounds, and then they walk back [to the beach],” said Doxer.
With extreme temperatures expected over the next few days, health officials are reminding people to stay hydrated and protect your skin. A wide brim hat and sunscreen will protect you from the sun.
“You gotta make sure you don’t look like a lobster on your shoulders,” said a Gloucester resident, who asked to be called Cindy. She and her roommates – all essential workers – enjoyed the beach while keeping COVID front and center. “At this time, we’re keeping six feet apart. This beach, the regulations are 12 feet apart. So me and my roommates, what we do to protect ourselves is always bring Germ-X, and I always bring masks.”
Healthy advice that health officials are encouraging everyone to practice.
As far as out-of-town visitors enjoying Gloucester beaches this weekend, the city says it will be monitoring parking lots and nearby streets. Violators could face a $75 fine and be towed.