Ocean City ask beachgoers to avoid social gatherings and respect social distancing guidelines

CAPE MAY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- While some New Jersey beaches have opened in time for Memorial Day Weekend, some say they are doing their best to adhere to the social distance guidelines.

However, Ocean City is asking beachgoers to avoid social gatherings and respect social distancing guidelines.

The boardwalk recently opened under Governor Phil Murphy's order for walking, running, bicycling, and for access to takeout food. Curbside pickup for retail stores will be permitted starting May 18.

Families of all sizes, a handful in masks taking full advantage of eased restrictions which included sunbathing by in Ocean City as well as Sea Isle City and Strathmere ahead of Memorial Day Weekend.

"I was actually a little apprehensive when I came down to see so many people on the boardwalk," said visitor Mike Conoloy.

Conoloy says he thinks people were doing their best, particularly near the beach. "Even when people were walking towards you they separate and go the other way. So seems a little safe down here."

However, the challenges of social distancing were certainly not lost on some visitors. "I think people should be practicing better. I'll be honest with you because they are really close," said Robert Wong of Vineland.

While non-essential stores and amusement centers remain closed, food-to-go on the boardwalk was open and busy.

"We're following all the executive orders set forth by Gov. Murphy we're keeping our staff safe with masks with gloves and hand sanitizer," said Manco & Manco co-owner Chuck Bangle.

Bangle says, with all that's at stake this weekend, he believes everyone is doing their part.

"We were concerned in the beginning but I think people fell into a natural flow and it's just going great. Nobody wants to get shut down," said Bangle.

Police were out monitoring crowds, but it's unclear if they were actively dispersing them. The loss would certainly be a hard one for teens who feel they've already lost a lot this year.

"I'm worried that I might get it or someone might get sick in my family," said Gianna Booker.

Action News reached out to multiple Ocean City officials for comment, but have not heard back.
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