Gooch’s Beach in 2019, complete with umbrellas and beach towels. Gooch’s, Mother’s and Middle beaches in Kennebunk are open for conventional use (with social distancing rules in place) as of June 6. Tammy Wells photo

KENNEBUNK — Get out the blanket and beach chair, sunscreen and that beach novel. Gooch’s, Middle and Mother’s beaches open for conventional use on June 6, which means visitors will be allowed to sunbathe, sit and read a book, and relax — as long as they follow social distancing rules. 

That was the unanimous decision of the Select Board on Wednesday, June 3, when it conducted a special online meeting on the matter. 

Kennebunk’s beaches were closed to all activity, including walking on the sidewalk and driving down Beach Avenue (excluding local residents) for much of April. The beaches  reopened, for walking, swimming and surfing on May 15, although gatherings for sunbathing and sitting were still prohibited.

As of June 6, patrons can further enjoy the beach — chairs and umbrellas are permitted — with some precautions and a few restrictions. 

Beachgoers are asked to maintain proper physical distancing from those not in their family group, and to use a mask if a 6-foot distance from others cannot be maintained. 

Dogs must remain on leash at all times, with use of a maximum six-foot leash (no retractable leashes).  

Select Board members are also reminding dog owners that from June 15 to Labor Day, dogs are allowed on beaches only before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m., and must be leashed. 

The Select Board agreed that sidewalks would remain restricted to active use only. No chairs, portable beach tents, shades or umbrellas will be permitted on sidewalks.

Parsons Beach remains closed because of a tree planting project. 

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