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West Haven beaches and boardwalks reopen Friday but with strict guidelines

Many businesses on the shoreline said they hope it will attract more customers since many of them are trying to stay afloat.

As the weather begins to warm up, it is also a sign Memorial Day is just around the corner. 

Starting on Friday, beaches around the state will reopen to the public, but the rules will depend on the town live in. 

Many businesses on the shoreline said they hope it will attract more customers since many of them are trying to stay afloat. 

For Patricia Brereton-Johnson, Wednesday was the first day in almost two months she was able to interact with customers again. 

In mid-March, her business Rip Tide had fully closed. 

"It wasn’t really going to be worth it for us to operate just as strictly takeout so we waited it out and then we opened up yesterday," said Brereton-Johnson, manager of Rip Tide. 

"A lot of people do come to the summertime to the area- a lot of people rent Airbnb’s and stuff," added Brereton-Johnson. 

Not farm from Rip Tide is Jimmie's, a restaurant that celebrated 95 years this month. For the first time in all of those years, they will be closed on Memorial Day. 

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Manager Paul Gagliardi Junior said he has chosen to hold off on outdoor dining because he feels as if the full comfort level has not been reached yet. So for now, he is sticking to takeout only. 

 "Looking forward to it because it’ll bring more traffic but again, people are going to be more reserved in how they go about at the beach. Normal protocols don’t apply anymore," said Gagliardi Junior. 

The new normal at beaches this year will require social distancing and face coverings. 

West Haven Mayor Nancy Rossi had some friendly reminders. 

"Parking lots are open to residents only. These are our guidelines now and that is … they have to have a beach sticker on their front windshield, a West Haven beach sticker, or a West Haven driver’s license with the same address as the West Haven registration," said Mayor Rossi.

Mayor Rossi said constables will be monitoring parking lot to ensure beachgoers do not violate parking orders. 

"The parking lot seems to be more the congregating place sometimes more so than the beaches," added Mayor Rossi. 

Beaches will be open from dawn to dusk Friday to Monday this weekend. Any weekend after that, they will open from Friday to Sunday. 

Swimming is allowed at shoreline beaches but not at inland state parks because of social distancing.