Some people feel like Memorial Day weekend is the official start of summer, but for others, it’s when the towns finally start selling beach passes. The 2020 beach parking passes for Dartmouth went on sale today and was welcomed by a long ling outside of the town hall. If the line is any indication of what is to come, the beaches will be bumping this summer.

I can’t wait to hit the beach as much as the next beachgoer, but now more than ever, we need to be smart about this. Here are three etiquette tips for hitting the beach in 2020:

1. Leave It How You Found It

Let’s be courteous, people! So far, 2020 has been a doozy, but there are still some areas of life that are still in our control. There have been far too many instances where I’ve seen a dirty face mask tossed carelessly on the side of the road or crumbled up, inches from a trash can. I would hate to see face masks, wrappers, and cheap Styrofoam coolers litter the beaches we love so much.

2. Social Distancing Is Still a Thing

There’s nothing like a warm summer’s day on the SouthCoast. But before you lay your towel down and stick your umbrella in the sand, take a look around you. Are you abiding by the six-foot rule? Here’s a tip to ensure you are safely distancing while enjoying your fun in the sun. Pack a tape measure in your beach-bag to measure out a 6’x6’ square, and use your beach items, like coolers and flip flops, to form your boundary. Better yet, check out this

" target="_blank">10’x9’ beach towel I found on Amazon. Establish your space and feel free to spray any Skuke with sunscreen that tries to enter your bubble.

3. Yes, You Should Bring a Mask

When packing up for the day, don’t forget to grab that mask. But here’s the good news: Dartmouth’s official website explains that all beachgoers will be required to comply with Gov. Charlie Baker’s statewide executive order, COVID-19 Order 31, requiring face coverings in public places where social distancing is not possible. So, establish your six feet of distance, and you are free to take off that mask and bask in the sunshine without getting ridiculous tan lines (thank goodness).

There is still an opportunity to thrive for the summer of 2020, but it’s up to all of us to keep the governor’s phases moving along. Let’s be courteous and let’s be smart when it comes to relaxing on the beach this summer. Let’s make sure the only thing we catch this summer is Vitamin D.

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