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What to Expect at Local Beaches During Covid-19

Jennie Sparrow | 6/11/2020

What is the number one thing the Cape and Islands are known for? The beaches, of course! The pristine sand, the salty sea breezes, and miles of dunes—it’s where everyone wants to be, especially in the summer. This year, however, a day at the beach will be a little different than in past years. Due to Covid-19, special safety guidelines have been put into place in order to mitigate the spread of the disease. We’ve compiled some tips that highlight these new measures.


Some Changes You Can Expect to See at Local Beaches

Not all of the new guidelines for beaches go across the board, so we encourage you to check either a specific town’s website or their Chamber of Commerce website regarding the beach you are interested in. Here are some examples of what you might find:

  • Parking at both Skaket and Nauset Beach in Orleans will likely to be reduced; restrooms will remain open.
  • At some Brewster beaches, you will see an “entrance” pathway and a separate “exit” pathway. Daily Non-Resident Beach Parking Permits will be available for purchase online and via the mail only. This is true for the town of Sandwich as well.
  • In Dennis, many beaches, including popular Mayflower Beach, will have reduced parking capacity.
  • Beaches in Falmouth plan to keep their parking capacity close to 50%.

Changes for the Cape Cod National Seashore Beaches

The Cape Cod National Seashore includes nearly 40 miles of coastline and many ocean beaches found in the towns of Chatham, Orleans, Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, and Provincetown. Some popular National Seashore beaches are Nauset Light and Coast Guard Beach in Eastham, Marconi Beach in Wellfleet, Head of the Meadow in Truro, and Herring Cove and Race Point in Provincetown. Currently, there are no restrooms and no lifeguards at these beaches. There is also no shuttle for Coast Guard Beach. You find more information on National Seashore beaches here.


Cape Cod Reopening Task Force Guidelines

If you are looking for a comprehensive list of beach guidelines, below is a list set forth by the Cape Cod Reopening Task Force (a collaborative group comprised of elected Massachusetts state officials, as well as municipal, county, federal government partners, and others from the private sector).

While enjoying our beaches, please follow these rules:

  • Limit social gatherings to less than 10 people, remain six feet from others, and maintain 12 feet between towel/beach blanket areas.
  • Wear masks if social distancing is not possible (though they’re not required when swimming).
  • Refrain from beach sports such as volleyball, soccer, and bocce.

Please note:

  • Visitors of beaches should expect limited or no trash disposal receptacles. When visiting beaches without trash receptacles, visitors should adhere to a strict “carry in, carry out” policy and take waste with them.
  • Due to the varying size and accessibility of beaches across the Cape, residents and visitors are encouraged to check municipal websites and social media channels for specific town-by-town beach information.

If you’d like to see some frequently asked questions regarding our beaches, be sure to check out our Beach FAQ page.

So grab your mask and start planning ahead—a sunny day at your favorite Cape & Islands beach awaits!

In need of more resources? Here are some links to individual towns with information about their beaches: