Parlee Beach steps up beach security to encourage physical distancing

Click to play video: 'Health officials concerned beach goers won’t follow guidelines'
Health officials concerned beach goers won’t follow guidelines
WATCH: With the summer weather coming around, and Parlee beach expected to be full on the weekend, officials are concerned about maintaining public safety rules. Shelley Steeves has the story. – Jun 16, 2020

Staff and security at Parlee Beach Provincial Park in Shediac, N.B., are getting ready for what’s expected to be a busy week of ensuring the sun-seekers follow COVID-19 protocol.

“We’ve got our security team that is patrolling the beach, day and night, seven days a week” said Michel Mallet, the manager of the provincial park.

READ MORE: Nearly 1,900 warnings issued over lack of social distancing at Vancouver parks, beaches

He said the park is hiring more security guards to walk the beach this summer to ensure that family and friend bubbles remain at least two metres apart while basking in the sun.

Gary Colier is a security guard at the beach and says most people are respecting New Brunswick Department of Health mandatory physical distancing regulations.

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“You get the odd person, but other than that it is good really,” said Colier.

The beach officially opened to the public on May 22, but some facilities remain closed due to the pandemic, said Mallet.

“Right now we have the playgrounds that are closed to the public and also the volleyball court,” he said.

Every other stall in the public washroom is open, but the changing rooms are off-limits. So Mallet says beachgoers need to come prepared.

READ MORE: Can I go to the beach or someone’s backyard? Here’s how risky summer activities are

While some local residents did express concerns over a lack of physical distancing earlier in the season, Mallet says he has stepped up patrols and will have 10 security guards patrolling the beach during peak hours once more staff is hired.

The park is not limiting how many people are allowed hit the beach, said Mallet, and security guards are not issuing fines but are reminding sun-seekers of the regulations.

“All reasonable attempts should be made by the public to ensure proper physical distancing as much as possible,” he said.

He is also asking anyone showing symptoms of the virus not to go to the beach.

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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus.

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