While New York remains closed, the Jersey Shore will be officially open for Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start to summer.
"The Shore is central to our Jersey identity and we want to ensure that families can safely enjoy it this summer," Governor Phil Murphy said today. Beachgoers will be required to adhere to social distancing rules, and there will be limits on how many people can be on the beach at a time.
Governor Murphy says each Jersey shore town must establish its own capacity limitations, such as selling fewer beach passes, and have means to enforce social distancing on beaches.
Sea Isle City Mayor Leonard Desiderio said people may be kicked off the beach and ticketed, though he expects people to "police themselves."
Murphy said boardwalks, bathrooms and shower pavilions will also reopen, and masks will not be required once on the beach. Boardwalk restaurants can remain open but for takeout or delivery only.
On a town-to-town basis, some Garden State beaches have already reopened their sandy strips strictly for exercise-only (walking, jogging, biking, and surfing)—but previously no swimming or sunbathing was permitted.
Some areas of the beach towns will remain closed, including arcades, amusement rides, playgrounds and water fountains. Organized events, contact sports and large gatherings like concerts, festivals and fireworks shows are also still prohibited.
Murphy also stated that both in-state and out of state visitors can enjoy the beaches. "We are living through unprecedented times, but we have confidence that residents and out-of-state visitors, alike, can take in a day at the beach safely, so long as the measures we are announcing today are followed," he said Thursday.
While not required, Murphy urged folks to wear a mask or face covering in crowded areas such as standing in line to buy their beach badge.
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