During his daily COVID-19 briefing, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Thursday that the Jersey shore will be open in time for Memorial Day. The reopening which will take place on May 22 includes lakefronts. Murphy also said that concerts and fireworks will be prohibited.
The Governor explained that capacity limitations must be established by each town. Measures to enforce social distancing is also their responsibility. Boardwalks restaurants are permitted to offer only take out orders. Amusement parks and playgrounds will remain closed.
“The Jersey shore will be open in time for Memorial Day Weekend, with social distancing guidelines in place. The shore is central to our Jersey identity and we want to ensure that families can safely enjoy it this summer,” he said in a tweet.
Murphy said restroom facilities at parks will reopen as long as they guarantee frequent and proper cleaning.
He also urged people to wear protective masks in crowded areas or while waiting for food on the boardwalks.
Murphy issued his guidance the day before two of the state’s most popular beaches planned to reopen. On Friday morning, Point Pleasant Beach and Seaside Heights will begin allowing people to be on the sand. Officials from these towns considered this reopening as an experiment.
Maryland Avenue beach will permit people until it reaches a certain capacity that has not been announced yet. The use of protective masks will be “encouraged” while standing in line. They will not be required on the beach.
Seaside Heights will reopen on Friday with restrictions. Activities on the beach are limited to walking, jogging, active surf fishing, and surfing. No swimming, beach chairs or blankets, and no sitting or standing.
Ocean City’s beaches and boardwalk have been open in recent days “for exercise and active recreation.
During the Thursday briefing, Murphy said an additional 1,216 New Jersey residents tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 142,704.
An additional 244 people died in New Jersey from coronavirus-related complications. The statewide death toll is 9,946.