While stuck in quarantine we’ve all been dreaming of summer days down the shore and wondering when, or if, those would be a reality for 2020. Today during his press conference, Governor Murphy announced that the Jersey Shore will be open in time for Memorial Day weekend.
“The Jersey Shore, after all, is where memories are made,” said Murphy. “The last thing any of us wanted was for a summertime down the shore to be a memory.”
While he announced that the shore and lakeshores will be open in time for people to celebrate Memorial Day weekend starting on Friday, May 22, there will be a sizable amount of restrictions in place. So your day at the beach will be very different and nothing close to normal.
Each beach or lakeshore location will have strict limits (decided by the local municipalities) on the number of beachgoers allowed on a given day, and social distancing rules will be in effect and enforced. Families must remain six feet away from any other parties, meaning you’ll need to be mindful about where you set up your stuff. The restrictions are in line with the rules about going to the parks with only the people in your immediate family group.
Group gatherings aren’t allowed, so if you’re meeting with people who are not in quarantine with you, they will have to set up your umbrellas and chairs a safe six foot distance away. Contact sports and organized events, like concerts and festivals are still prohibited, as well as recreational summer camps and fireworks.
Shower pavilions, changing areas and restrooms will be reopened not only at the beaches, but also in the parks that opened earlier this month. The towns will be working to maintain them with proper cleaning and sanitizing, but he did ask for patience as they restaff seasonal spots.
Restaurants along the boardwalk can open for take-out and delivery only. Amusement parks, playgrounds and visitor centers will remain closed for the time being. So if you’re heading to Point Pleasant or Wildwood, the boardwalk rides and games will be closed.
Additionally, Murphy highly recommends that face coverings be worn, especially if you’re waiting in line for food along a boardwalk or in a crowded area like a bathroom facility.
He did clarify that this did not apply to public pools and charter fishing. Those will still remain closed while the state continues work on plans on how to safely reopen them.