IPSWICH — "Crane Beach is closed to all non-Ipswich residents until further notice."
So begins a Monday afternoon news release from Ipswich Chief of Police Paul A. Nikas to the Salem News.
The changes by the town and The Trustees of Reservations — which owns Crane Beach and the adjacent Castle Hill Estate — "are being made based on the latest guidance from state officials," according to the release.
They were released shortly after Gov. Charlie Baker's announcement earlier Monday that gatherings of more than 10 people will not be allowed at this time.
The following other changes in Crane Beach policy also were announced in the release, effective immediately:
— The beach is open for Ipswich residents from 9 a.m., to 5 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday only. Residents must have a 2019 or 2020 beach sticker on their vehicles to access the beach.
— The beach is closed to all people from Monday through Thursday.
— No dogs or horses are allowed on the beach.
— Anyone parked illegally along Argilla road or at the beach gates will be ticketed or towed.
"The decision," Nikas said, "was not made lightly, but in the interest of public health concerns for people using the beach and public safety personnel who need to control the crowds.
"These changes are a temporary measure designed to help ensure the health and safety of the community. We appreciate the public's understanding and cooperation during these unique times," he concluded.
Officials are closely monitoring state and federal guidance regarding the COVID-19 situation and will provide updates as new information becomes available.