Phil Murphy: I’d be ‘shocked’ if NJ beaches aren’t open Memorial Day
New Jersey’s beaches should be open by Memorial Day weekend, although with some restrictions, according to Gov. Phil Murphy.
“I will be shocked if our beaches are not open, but with very specific guidance, just as we opened county and state parks,” Murphy told NJTV late Thursday. “You should expect that we’ll give guidance on beaches before Memorial Day.”
He did not say exactly when that “guidance” would be issued, only that it would come “sooner than later.” He said details on restrictions involving reopening non-essential retail businesses and construction also will soon be passed down.
“It’s a little bit different than a state park because municipalities actually have [control of] the beaches,” Murphy said. “But the great news is municipalities and counties up and down the Shore have been great to work with. We have a high level of communication.”
For the Jersey Shore, Murphy hinted that the guidance will be similar to what residents saw at reopened state parks, where parking capacity has been restricted by 50 percent and social-distancing guidelines are being enforced.“What we said to people was — and we’ll say the same thing, a variation of this as it relates to beaches — ‘Don’t be a knucklehead, stay away from each other, don’t congregate,’” Murphy said. “So I don’t know what the analogy is with a beach, but something like that, where you’re limiting capacity or density. Look for us to be, you know, doing things along those lines.”
Several New Jersey beaches had already lifted some restrictions by Friday, including in Avalon, Stone Harbor, North Wildwood and Wildwood, although shops and dine-in restaurants nearby remained closed, KYW Newsradio reported.