Sununu Scraps Anti-Sunbathing Restrictions; Rally Planned For Hampton Beach | New Hampshire Public Radio

Sununu Scraps Anti-Sunbathing Restrictions; Rally Planned For Hampton Beach

Jun 5, 2020

Lifeguards assess the scene at Jenness Beach earlier this week.
Credit Todd Bookman/NHPR

After his initial restrictions were in place for less than a week, Gov. Chris Sununu is altering the rules for beach access in New Hampshire.

Effective immediately, beaches in the state are open for all activities, including sunbathing. The initial guidelines, which went into effect on Monday, only allowed exercise activities on the sand, such as running or walking, along with swimming and surfing.

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While picnics and bronzing are back on, parking access will remain limited at most access points to discourage crowds. 

“We worked with public health and came up with a solution supported by data,” said Sununu in a press release. 

It isn’t clear what new public health data emerged in recent days. On Thursday, the state announced eight additional deaths from COVID-19. The seven-day averages for both newly identified cases and deaths from the coronavirus hasn’t declined in the previous week.

On Wednesday, Reopen NH, an advocacy group that is calling for an end to coronavirus-related restrictions, announced a "Storm the Beaches" rally on Saturday to coincide with D-Day remembrances in defiance of Sununu's initial rules.

“We’re asking Granite Staters to help us celebrate D-Day and the freedoms that our ancestors were willing to fight and die for, which many have taken for granted,” Andrew J. Manuse, chairman of the group, said in a statement. “Our forefathers were willing to storm the beaches of Normandy under enemy fire to liberate our mother countries overseas and prevent the spread of tyranny to our land.”

The event is scheduled for noon Saturday at Hampton Beach. Sand castles may be erected, according to a press release.