New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has announced that beaches along the Jersey shore can reopen over the Memorial Day weekend but with some restrictions and social distancing norms in place. Here's everything you need to know about the new Executive Order No. 143, which will come into effect on May 22.
Every beach will be required to establish capacity limitations and has been left to local leaders to decide how to implement these limits such as restricting the number of beach badges or tags that can be sold to visitors.
Beachgoers will have to follow strict social distancing norms including maintaining at least six-feet distance from each other, except for family groups, couples, caretakers and household members. This has also been left to local leaders to decide how to enforce these guidelines.
Games, Contact Sports and Special Events
Some restrictions have been mandated across the board. Organized games and contact sports will not be permitted and beach recreational summer camps and special events that draw people to the beach such as concerts, festivals, or fireworks will be banned as well.
Shower Areas, Changing Rooms and Bathrooms
Showers, changing areas, and restrooms will remain open as long as they are regularly cleaned and sanitized. Swimming will also be allowed, though lifeguards will likely be stationed in spaced-out manner.
Boardwalk Rides, Arcades Restaurants
Boardwalk restaurants will continue to operate for take-out and delivery only, but the rides and arcades shall remain closed. Other features that are meant to draw large crowds like a playground or visitor center will also remain shuttered for the time being.
Easing of restrictions in NJ
Murphy added that all of the restrictions are temporary and could be loosened further if conditions improve. The news of the beach openings comes a day after Murphy announced that the state is peeling back some of the restrictions following two months of strict lockdown orders as the outbreaks seems to have slowed down over the last few weeks.
The governor allowed state and county parks, as well as golf courses to reopen with restrictions earlier this month. On Wednesday, he allowed nonessential retail businesses to start offering curbside pickup services and nonessential construction sites to resume, while also allowing drive-in and drive-through events, as previously reported by International Business Times.