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Beach crowding, parties concerning for Governor Baker

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Photo courtesy of Charlie Baker

Chris Lisinski
State House News Service

Massachusetts residents are not yet at the point of losing their current level of access to beaches, but Gov. Charlie Baker hinted Friday that he would intervene if dangerous crowd sizes continue to dot the shores.

Baker said his administration has observed multiple reports about crowded beaches in recent weeks, particularly at the M Street Beach in South Boston last weekend. While the governor said he is happy to see people enjoying fresh air and summer weather, he said the level of crowding at M Street “simply can’t continue.” “If people can’t space out and can’t do the things that everyone else is doing with respect to face coverings, social distancing and good hygiene, then we’ll have to limit the number of people who can be there,” Baker said. “That’s not something we want to do. We want people to simply use their heads and be responsible.”

Baker also encouraged residents to keep social gatherings small, a suggestion in part prompted by a house party in Chatham that has been linked to at least 10 positive COVID-19 tests. He did not answer directly, though, when asked if hosts of large events such as the one in Chatham should face fines. “I think people should use their heads,” Baker replied. “I would much rather have eight or nine different people all have a small gathering with intelligent and appropriate behavior around spread in their backyards than have one person have a gathering with 100 people.”

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