The City of Newport on Wednesday announced the temporary closure of several City parks and beaches due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The city, in a press release, says restrictions follow an Executive Order signed Tuesday by the Governor on shuttering all State run parks and beaches, including Fort Adams and Brenton Point state parks. The City writes that these restrictions are expected to remain in force until at least April 30, 2020.
Last evening, The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announced the temporary closure of Rhode Island state parks and beaches due to the COVID-19 public health crisis. “To protect public safety, all state parks and beaches, along with their parking areas, will be closed beginning Friday, April 3, until further notice,” a press release from DEM stated.
DEM wrote in their press release on Tuesday, “The public must abide by these rules by refraining from visiting these areas. DEM Environmental Police Officers and DEM Parks’ staff will continue to monitor state parks and beaches for compliance. If people are blatantly ignoring the new rules – if they choose to congregate at state parks and beaches, or if they’re not complying with the physical distancing rules – they may be cited if actions and behavior are not corrected”.
On Tuesday and Wednesday the Governor said during her press briefing that while the parking lots are closed, if you live close enough to the areas (state beach or state park) that you continue to do so.
What’s Up Newp is working at this time to clarify what actions will be taken against individuals that are found walking on a state or city beach or state or city park.
City of Newport Restrictions
Beginning Friday, April 3rd, parking will be prohibited at Easton’s Beach as well as adjacent access points to the Cliff Walk and Braga Park. The City is encouraging all residents to continue to be active and get out for walks or bicycle rides, but to do so close to their own homes.
At Easton’s Beach, all public parking areas will be closed until further notice and parking along Memorial Boulevard and nearby side streets will also be prohibited. Parking will likewise be restricted at access points to the City’s popular Cliff Walk, including along Narragansett Avenue; Ruggles Avenue; Shepherd Avenue; Leroy Avenue; Webster Avenue, Wetmore Avenue; and Ledge Road. No parking signs will also be placed at both the Ellery Road and Kay Street entrances to Braga Park.
At this time, no further restrictions are anticipated at other City parks, however Newport residents are encouraged to stay home and practice social distancing even while outdoors.
The restrictions follow an Executive Order signed by the Governor shuttering all State run parks and beaches, including Fort Adams and Brenton Point state parks. They are expected to remain in force until at least April 30, 2020.
Recreational facilities, including the City’s network of playgrounds, tennis courts, and basketball courts, also remain closed for the time being.
Given the serious nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, the public is urged to abide by CDC and RIDOH guidelines and refrain from visiting any area where crowds may gather. Please note that while parking is being restricted, Newport’s parks and open space may still be enjoyed for the purpose of exercise or in small groups, however police will be monitoring for gatherings over five (5) people as part of a citywide open air compliance check program. Police will also be monitoring the areas of Brenton Point State Park for parking compliance on adjacent roadways.
More information about the City’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak can be found on the City’s website at www.CityofNewport.com/COVID19.