COVID-19 UPDATE: Camillo Orders Town Parks & Beaches Closed

People playing tennis at GHS. Saturday, March 21, 2020 Photo Jonathan King

People playing tennis at GHS. Saturday, March 21, 2020 Photo Jonathan King

On Sunday Greenwich First Selectman Fred Camillo has ordered all Town parks and beaches closed to the public, effective at 8:00pm on Sunday, March 22, 2020.

The closures will be effective until further notice.

The closures includes but is not limited to tennis courts, basketball courts, playgrounds, ball fields, school grounds and open spaces. Bathrooms at all recreational facilities will also be closed.

“This is a decision I did not make lightly. Our parks are being overwhelmed by visitors who are not practicing social distancing,” Mr. Camillo said. “This is a national public health emergency.”

“While it is good for people to enjoy the outdoors and exercise, to do so in such large numbers presents the possibility of a widespread outbreak of the coronavirus,” he added.

On Saturday, March 21, there were 8,433 visitors to Greenwich Point Park alone.

Social distancing at Tod’s Point Saturday, March 21, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager

Customers attempt social distancing at the concession stand at Tod's Point. March 21, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager

Customers attempt social distancing at the concession stand at Tod’s Point. March 21, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager

“I acknowledge that there will be a few weeks of aggravation but the sooner we do it, the sooner we’ll be able to end this pandemic,” Camillo continued. “For the past week, I have been saying that if people do not adhere to the national public health guidelines of social distancing, I would be forced to close the parks and beaches. It is unfortunate, but I have to make this difficult decision in the interest of the welfare and health safety of our residents.”

The decision to close the beaches and parks was made after discussion with and with the support of Town department heads and administrative staff, the Board of Selectmen, state Legislative delegation and Congressman Jim Himes.

The closure of the parks and beaches follows Mr. Camillo’s decision to close Town Hall to employees, effective at 10:00am Monday, March 23, through April 22. The Town Griffith E. Harris Golf Course will close at the end of business on Sunday, March 22.

Group of soccer players at Eastern Middle School Saturday, March 21, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager

Department of Parks & Recreation staff and the Greenwich Police Department, along with members of the Town’s volunteer fire companies will enforce the parks and beach closures.

Violators of this directive may be cited for trespassing or more severe criminal sanctions in accordance with Connecticut General Statutes.

Residents seeking a respite in the outdoors may use any of the trails and sidewalks in Town, while maintaining social distancing.

See also:

Greenwich Town Hall to Shut Down Monday; Town Golf Course to Close Sunday

P&Z and Wetlands Close for Cleaning after Employee Calls in Sick with Flu-Like Symptoms

Picnic tables had caution tape at Tod's Pt. Saturday, March 21, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager

Picnic tables had caution tape at Tod’s Pt. Saturday, March 21, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager

A woman strums a guitar at one of the tables roped off with caution tape as two geese walked past. March 21, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager

A woman strums a guitar at one of the tables roped off with caution tape as two geese walked past. March 21, 2020 Photo: Leslie Yager