Since Governor Murphy announced that New Jersey’s beaches and lakeshores will be open for Memorial Day weekend, we’ve been dreaming of soaking up sun and playing in the waves this summer. But given all the restrictions, prepping for a day at the shore will involve a lot more than just throwing shovels, towels and chairs in the car.
- Get There Early Each beach municipality has its own rules on the amount of beachgoers allowed each day which means the number of people permitted will be strictly enforced. So if you’re heading down the shore, make sure to go early so you don’t drive an hour and end up disappointed when you are turned away because it’s at capacity.
- Social Distancing Rules are In Effect All visitors will be required to be at least six feet apart from others who they aren’t quarantined with. So you’re looking for that perfect location on the beach, make sure you aren’t too close to another family.
- Social Distancing Rules Apply to Your Friends and Families No group gatherings are allowed. So this means that even if you want to hang out with your besties at the beach, they will still need to sit at least six feet away from you.
- You’ll Need to Keep an Extra Close Eye on the Kids We’re all vigilant when the kids are in the water every summer, but how many times has your kid started making sandcastles and then had four newfound friends come over to help him? While we’ve gone out of our way to teach them to share, now is not the time to let that happen. Make sure the kiddos stay with just their siblings/housemates and don’t get too close to others and especially don’t share toys with others.
- Pack Disinfecting Wipes and Sanitizer Think about all those surfaces you touch, from putting money in a parking meter or paying for pizza. Since running water to wash your hands isn’t as readily available outdoors, make sure you pack extra sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.
- Bathrooms are Open, But… We’ve all been in the bathrooms at the beach and even the cleanest ones are not exactly pristine. Even with smaller crowds and stepped up cleaning and sanitizing rules mandated by the governor, this could be one of the most dangerous places for you to be exposed to COVID-19. Make sure you wash your hands vigilantly after touching anything, and bring your own sanitizing items with you in case you’re using a restroom or baby changing table right after another person. Wash your hands before leaving, and make sure the kids do, too. Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen on spots that have been washed/sanitized.
- Masks are Recommended We know it sounds hard to imagine wearing a mask while dipping your toes in the water or sitting in your lounge chair. But when you grab takeout, or go to the restroom, or any place where there could be a lot of people, the Governor’s office recommends you wear a mask.
- No Games/Sports The bigger kids may be psyched to play volleyball or some ultimate frisbee, but according to the rules from the state, games are off limits, especially if they involve people gathering in groups.
- There Are No Amusement Rides All the amusement rides and attractions will remain closed until further notice. If your kids are going to be bummed sitting at Point Pleasant with closed Jenkinson’s rides taunting them, you might want to pick a different beach.
- Restaurants Are Open for Curbside Pickup and Takeout Only The good news is that you can probably still get a zeppole. But these spots will have different rules than normal. Restaurants may only do credit cards and some spots may do online ordering. If you’ve got a favorite spot in mind, look on their websites or Facebook pages, and do a little research before you head out to make sure no one is bummed when they don’t get their favorite ice cream.
- If You’re Sick, Stay Home Most importantly, if you have symptoms of coronavirus, or have a fever, or know you’ve been exposed to someone who has COVID-19 recently, stay home. Don’t chance getting others sick for a day at the beach. We know staying home is hard, especially with the kids, but the Shore will still be there when you recover. We promise.