NYC public beaches open for swimming; VA enters phase 3 of reopening

New York City has lifted restrictions on its nine public beaches allowing residents to swim when the lifeguards are on duty.

All beach goers must keep their blankets and chairs 10 feet apart. Only to-go food services are allowed on the beaches. Restrooms can open at 50% capacity. Water fountains remain closed.

The city is also planning to open three of its outdoor swimming pools on July 24 and 12 more will open on August 1.

As the number of COVID-19 cases surge in the U.S., New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo agreed to postpone the reopening plans for indoor dining. Instead, the city plans to increase outdoor dining for restaurants, according to de Biasio.

The state of Virginia has cautiously moved to its Phase 3 reopening with last minute changes. Patrons will not be allowed to sit at restaurant bars. Restaurants may use the bar area to serve customers, as long as they can maintain at least six feet social distancing.

The president of the Virginia Restaurant Lodging and Travel Association is upset about the late change. He said many restaurants have already re-hired some of their staff and refilled their inventory to prepare for the reopening. The state's late notice will make it difficult for some businesses.

Under the Phase 3 reopening, social gatherings will be allowed for groups up to 250 people. Social distancing would still be required for all indoor activities. Child care facilities and salons are allowed to open. Gym and pools can open at 75% capacity. Entertainment venues and zoos can open at 50% capacity with a maximum allowance of 1000 people. But overnight summer camps will remain closed.

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