New Jersey beaches will be open by Memorial Day weekend, Gov. Murphy says

TRENTON, New Jersey (WPVI) -- The Jersey shore will be open in time for Memorial Day, Gov. Phil Murphy said Thursday during his daily COVID-19 briefing.

The beaches and lakefronts can reopen but that gatherings such as concerts and fireworks will be prohibited. The reopenings will take effect on May 22.

He also said each town must establish its own capacity limitations and ways to enforce social distancing. Restaurants on boardwalks can remain open for takeout only, and amusement parks and playgrounds will remain closed.

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Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Thursday that beaches on the Jersey shore will be open by Memorial Day weekend.



"The Jersey shore will be open in time for Memorial Day Weekend, with social distancing guidelines in place. The shore is central to our Jersey identity and we want to ensure that families can safely enjoy it this summer," Murphy said in a tweet.

Murphy said restroom facilities at parks will reopen as long as they undergo frequent and proper cleaning.

He also urged people to wear a mask or face covering while in more crowded areas or while waiting for food on the boardwalks.

Playgrounds, rides, arcades, picnic areas and water play equipment will remain closed.

A dry run will be held Saturday, May 16 at Sea Isle City, Strathmere and Ocean City so officials can work on capacity management.

"We're gonna practice capacity management. We want everyone to adhere to the social distancing and I think we're gonna have a great summer," said Sea Isle City Mayor Leonard Desiderio.

Wildwood and North Wildwood beaches are open for sunbathing and Wildwood Crest Mayor Don Cabrera tells Action News that he will likely open his beaches for sunbathing May 15.

No decision has been made on full beach access in Longport, Margate and Ventnor.

Officials in Cape May say they will wait until May 22 to allow sunbathing.

"I think they're gonna be very responsible. I think the people are gonna police themselves," said Desiderio.

During the Thursday briefing, Murphy said an additional 1,216 New Jersey residents tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 142,704.

An additional 244 people died in New Jersey from coronavirus-related complications. The statewide death toll is 9,946.

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