FARMINGTON, CT (WFSB) – The beautiful weather this weekend means many people will be spending time outdoors.
State beaches are also open, but that doesn’t mean people can go to any state park to go swimming.
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protect isn’t allowing swimming at any inland state parks, but cities and towns can decide what to do locally, and some want people to enjoy the weather.
“We are not going to be allowing swimming this year at our inland parks,” said Commissioner Katie Dykes, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
Commissioner Dykes says there will be no swimming at some state parks at this point because people can’t social distance at those beaches.
That not swimming rule at inland parks only applies to state parks.
“We were not given any mandates about not allowing anybody into the Farmington River,” said Lt. Timonthy McKenzie, Farmington Police Department.
Farmington police say they will not stop people from swimming this weekend. Their focus will be on making sure people follow best practices, including keeping social distance and wearing masks.
“Observe social distancing, be smart, and enjoy yourself,” Lt. McKenzie said.
Dykes said her decision was based on limited space and there’s no evidence currently that water poses any increased risks of coronavirus.
“It’s because some of the beaches and what happens on the shore, they’re not big enough to allow people to spread out,” Dykes said.
DEEP is using their Twitter account @CTStateParks to announce when any park is closed due to crowding.
Farmington police say they will have extra patrols to make sure people are following the rules and to monitor places where people aren’t supposed to swim, but they also understand people will need to get outside now that the weather is warmer.
“That is our goal too is get out, enjoy ourselves, be smart, and be safe,” Lt. McKenzie said.
DEEP is urging people not to travel too far from home to go to a state park and to check ahead of time if a park is still open. Find more information here.