New Jersey outdoor amusement parks, water parks and playgrounds to reopen July 2

TRENTON, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Outdoor amusement parks, water parks and playgrounds in New Jersey will be allowed to reopen on July 2, Gov. Murphy announced on Tuesday.

That includes amusement parks on the Jersey shore boardwalks.

Murphy said that specific guidance that operators will need to follow to protect their customers and employees is forthcoming.

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New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has eased more COVID-19 restrictions on Monday, including the reopening of personal care businesses.

However, he said it is anticipated that all amusement parks and water parks will be capped at 50% capacity, and all guests and workers must wear face masks.
Operators should expect that rides will be confined to a six-foot distance between groups, and distance markers will be placed six feet apart in lines. Rides must also be frequently sanitized.

Meanwhile, Murphy said a timeline for the reopening of indoor recreation, including boardwalk arcades, will be released on Wednesday.

The rides can reopen on the same day that indoor dining at New Jersey restaurants can resume at 25% capacity.

At Harrison House Diner in Mullica Hill, they're offering outdoor dining under a tent, and coming up with a plan for inside.

"(We're going to) social distance by going every other booth, having hand-washing stations, one way markers so people don't have to cross paths," said owner Constantine Benas.

In Bordentown, some street parking is now outdoor dining space for restaurants.

Marcello's Coal Fired Pizza is seating people on the sidewalk and on their porch with a retractable roof. Come July 2, their air conditioned dining room will be open again.

"That dining room will probably have four or five tables with the governors orders and progressing going forward hopefully," said Vincent Minerva.

So are people ready to eat inside? The diners we spoke to say yes.

"Just for the restaurants to be able to stay in business we'd like to see that happen and we would definitely go inside," said Kristin Martin of Mickleton, N.J.

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Beginning Sunday, nursing homes, dementia care homes, pediatric transitional care homes and comprehensive personal care homes were allowed to have visitors in designated outdoor spaces.

Guidance for indoor dining is expected from state officials soon.

The state reported nearly 400 new case since Monday, for a total of 169,000 positive cases. There were 57 more deaths reported since Monday putting the overall death toll at 12,949.

The new openings come just a day after the governor said casinos and indoor dining could restart also on July 2, but at 25% capacity. The state is in Stage 2 of three of reopening from the virus.

Salons, barbershops and tattoo and massage parlors also reopened this week.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness or death.
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