People still flock to beaches despite restrictions

WARWICK, R.I. (WLNE) – The weather at Oakland Beach was close to perfect on Sunday, but people’s adherence to COVID-19 safety and restrictions was not.

People at the beach just couldn’t resist the siren call of the sea or the lobster rolls at Iggy’s. The local favorite was swarmed with customers for takeout. The line stretched around the block thanks to social distancing measures that aimed to keep people six feet apart.

“I’m a little flustered,” said Jerel Rodrigues of Pawtucket. “I’m a little bothered that there’s a long line for Iggy’s.”

There was also a long line of cars. Some were just driving by, while others parked along the road — including areas with signage that says “no parking” — since the parking lot right next to the beach itself was closed.

Many people were wearing masks and trying to stay socially distanced, but quite a few people were not. Some say those safety restrictions have to be balanced with the mental health benefits of seeing friends and getting fresh air.

“As far as us, who are supposedly healthy, I think we need to get out and enjoy life while we have it.” said Casey Johnston of Taunton.

But others worry that being lax about safety could force the governor to delay the first stage of the reopening, currently set for May 9.

“Staying in, it’s not an easy thing to do,” said Sue Dubois of North Smithfield. “And if we have to push it back now because people will not wear a mask, that’s sad, that’s too bad.”

Others say there’s only so much the governor can do to limit people’s time outdoors.

“Even if she doesn’t lift the ban, they’re still going to come out,” said Cheri Gladue, Cranston.

“We just all got to be safe and obey the rules,” said Nancy Cartagena of Providence. “God bless us all.”



Categories: News