Originally posted at 2:12 p.m. Updated at 5:03 p.m.
FRAMINGHAM – Last night at the Parks Commission meeting, Framingham Parks & Recreation Director James Snyder announced COVID-19 guidelines for this year’s beach season.
All three beaches will be open this summer and the tentative dates of operations are from July 1 to August 9.
Snyder said last night, June 25, this is tentative due to the uncertainty of the number of lifeguards and fears of an outbreak of COVID-19.
If all lifeguards become unavailable, the Department will be forced to close the beaches early.
The hours of operating will be from 10 am to 5 pm. All vehicles must be removed from the parking lot by 5.
This is earlier than in previous beach seasons, when the city’s three beaches were open until 7 p.m. The City’s beaches are typically open from the third week in June through the third week in August.
This year, the beaches will only be open to Framingham residents. Any non-residents will be turned away.
Residents need to pre-register for the beach tags at www.framinghamrec.com prior to picking them up at the beach of their choice.
One beach tag is required per family unit, which can have a maximum of 10 people. Only one beach tag will be issued per address.
Beach tags will be available to be picked up in person at the Bowditch Field Ticket Booth starting June 29. Tags can be picked up on Monday, June 29, Tuesday, June 30, and Wednesday, July 1 from either 9 to 11 a.m. or 4 to 6 p.m.
After July 1st, beach tags can be picked up between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the beach of your choice.
There is a 48-hour wait time between registering for the beach tag and picking up the tag.
The pass (regardless of date chosen to pick up) is good for the entire season. You only need to register once., explained parks & Recreation.
The City will take people on a first-come first-served basis, just like the State Park system.
“When we are at capacity, we will put up a sign and let people in only when others leave the facility,” explained Parks & Recreation staff.
According to Snyder, the reservation of beach tags this year will help to follow COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.
It will also help the Parks Department with maintaining a source of information about which beaches were used throughout the summer.
Masks are required to be on when in common areas such as the bathhouses and the parking lot, said Parks & Recreation.
Masks can be taken off when people are in their designated areas and are required to be taken off while swimming, said Parks & Recreation.
There will be a maximum of 30 designated visiting areas that have been created in accordance with social distancing guidelines, explained Synder.
These areas will be available on a first-come-first-serve basis and are able to be reserved ahead of time, said Parks & Rec.
Areas can accommodate up to 10 people from the same family unit.
Following the state’sPhase 2 guidelines, showers will be not available to be used, but bathrooms will be during operating hours.
Restrooms will be designed for 1 person at a time.
The Parks Department is planning on enforcing a “Carry Out what you Carry In” policy in regards to the trash in order to prevent the spread of COVID on surfaces.
The City’s three beaches are Lake Waushakum Beach on Nipmuc Road; Learneds Pond Beach on Shawmut Terrace, and Saxonville Beach.
Photos by Framingham High student and SOURCE intern Kayleigh O’Connor