The surfers were out on Gooch’s Beach in Kennebunk late Friday afternoon – the last time for a while, as the town of Kennebunk ordered all of its beaches closed effective Saturday, March 28. Tammy Wells photo

KENNEBUNK — All of Kennebunk’s beaches, including Gooch’s, Middle and Mother’s beaches and Parsons Beach, closed to the public Saturday, March 28.

Beach Avenue is now only open to local traffic and the Beach Avenue sidewalk is closed to pedestrians.

The beaches and related areas are to remain closed indefinitely, with an expectation of lifting the closure when the COVID-19 public health emergency is under control, said Town Manager Mike Pardue.

The measure is one Select Board members had been contemplating for several days. They addressed the matter briefly on Tuesday, March 24 but took no action at the time.

Motorists heading into Maine Friday night were greeted by Maine Turnpike message boards, letting them know that most state parks and beaches have been closed in response to reported overcrowding as Maine tries to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Dan King photo

York, Kittery, Ogunquit, and Wells beaches have also been closed by their municipalities in recent days, and the state on Thursday, March 26 announced it was ordering several state parks and beaches closed.

Kennebunkport selectmen will discuss beach closures when they meet on Monday.

Pardue said the decision in Kennebunk was made in response to Gov. Janet Mills’ proclamation of a state of emergency triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Another factor was that there were numerous reports of many people congregating on the beaches when the overall directive from state and federal government officials is that people should be practicing safe social distancing.

He said the authority to make the closure is contained in 3-20.3 of the town’s Park Use Ordinance.

The Kennebunk Police Department is empowered to enforce the closure, said Pardue.

Gooch’s, Middle and Mother’s beaches and sidewalks are closed until further notice. Dan King photo

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