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South Portland warns of park, trail, and beach closures due to coronavirus

South Portland city manager Scott Morelli warned that if citizens don't do a better job of social distancing he will close down parks, trails, and beaches.

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — In a message on the South Portland Facebook page, city manager Scott Morelli asked for the citizens of South Portland to do a better job of social distancing or he would be forced to close parks, trails, and beaches. 

Morelli wrote, "I believe being able to get out and exercise and get fresh air is important while we all are sheltered in our homes as much as possible. However, recently the City has been receiving complaints that our public spaces are overcrowded, particularly Willard Beach, Bug Light Park, and Hinckley Park."

The city manager says staff will be checking on these popular locations at different times and if there are enough violations harsher measures will be taken. 

"I do NOT want to do this. However, stopping the spread of this virus and protecting us all - especially our most vulnerable - is the top priority."

On Wednesday an email was sent out to residents from the South Portland Parks, Recreation & Waterfront department closing all basketball and tennis courts in the city. 

Credit: South Portland Parks and Rec

Morelli finished his warning with, "wouldn't it be great to get through this being one of the few communities that was able to keep our public spaces open to residents and be safe while doing so? Please help us do this - thank you!"

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