Some New Jersey beach towns to reopen on a limited basis on Friday

AVALON, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Jersey shore towns in Cape May County will reopen beaches this week on a limited basis.

Officials in Wildwood, Avalon and Stone Harbor have all announced plans to reopen.

In a letter from the mayors of Avalon and Stone Harbor to their communities Monday, the boroughs announced limited access to their beaches for walking, running, fishing, and surfing from dawn to dusk will begin the morning of Friday, May 8.

Mayors Martin Pagliuighi and Judith Davies-Dunhour said no stationary activity, including sitting on chairs or blankets, will be allowed.

"You can walk and run but you can't sit still?," laughed Mays Landing resident John O'Neill. "I think it's crazy."

Social distancing regulations must be followed.

"The beaches will be patrolled to make sure that social distancing practices are followed and there are no large groups of people gathered. All regular beach regulations continue to apply. We ask that you follow these temporary rules. Unfortunately, if they are not followed, we will again close our beaches," the mayors said.

All other public spaces in Avalon and Stone Harbor will remain closed, including playgrounds, tennis courts, basketball courts, boardwalks, libraries, and recreation centers.

The mayors said, "This limited beach access accommodation is intended to provide an open space for individuals to get exercise, see the beach and ocean, and have a relaxing experience."

Complete beach access, allowing for picnics and swimming, will be determined at a later date.

North Wildwood Mayor Patrick Rosenello and Wildwood Mayor Pete Byron also announced their beaches would reopen on May 8.

"On Friday, May 8, 2020 the Boardwalk will reopen for walking, running, biking, etc. In addition, our beaches, parks and playgrounds will also reopen," Rosenello said.

North Wildwood and Wildwood are also announcing that short-term or transient rentals may resume effective Tuesday, May 26, 2020.

Decisions regarding the reopening of retail and food service in the town have not been announced.

The Borough of Wildwood Crest reopened its beach, parks and the bike path to the public, with some restrictions on May 2.



With Memorial Day weekend coming up, Governor Phil Murphy is still asking people with vacation homes to stay away from the shore and stop renting them out until the state of emergency orders are lifted.

"If they have a residence here, they have all the right to come down," said Ed Gieger of Stone Harbor. "I don't see a problem."

"People need to join together and what's important for the country and for each other, not just for yourself," said Ocean View resident Chuck Vallese.

Officials reminded residents that the state of emergency and stay-at-home orders remain in effect in New Jersey.

REOPENING PLAN

Cape May County officials say they have formed a coalition of local leaders to help safely reopen the Jersey shore.

The group submitted a 35-page plan to Governor Murphy on Tuesday.

The coalition is proposing to reopen many of its public and business facilities no sooner than June 1.

The also would like seasonal rentals to begin on May 11, with shorter-term rentals allowed to begin no earlier than June 1.

Hotel and motel would be allowed to operate at 60% capacity effective June 1 and full capacity by June 22, under the proposed plan.

No decision has been made, but on Tuesday night, Governor Murphy's chief of staff, George Helmy, tweeted that his team discussed the plan with county leaders for nearly an hour.

READ MORE on the proposal below.



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