If you’re planning to head down to the Jersey Shore during this long holiday weekend, have fun — but remember, this will not be an ordinary Memorial Day weekend.
That’s the message Gov. Phil Murphy shared at his daily coronavirus press briefing on Friday, during which he reminded New Jersey residents that most beaches and boardwalks will be open this weekend, but health and safety guidelines must continue to be followed across the Jersey Shore.
“As we enter this weekend — yes please enjoy it, but don’t get complacent,” Murphy said. “Keep up with your social distancing and wear a face covering, please, if you’re going out — especially if you’re somewhere where social distances are hard to keep.”
On Friday, Murphy also increased the limit on outdoor gatherings from 10 to 25 people, but pointed to this weekend’s mostly cloudy weather forecast as reason not to fear that social distancing can be effectively maintained at the beaches and boardwalks.
“I hope it’s 85, sunny, and low humidity, but it’s going to be none of that this weekend,” Murphy said. “I’m not happy to say that by any means. I’d prefer it to be otherwise, but in this extraordinary moment it probably gives us — almost certainly gives us — an opportunity to creep into the summer a little more gradually.”
Despite these expectations, all local officials are required to enforce social distancing measures, implement capacity limitations, regularly sanitize facilities, and prohibit all contact sports and organized events at beaches across the state.
The exact rules will vary from place to place. Some will restrict boardwalk activity. Some will have public bathrooms open, some closed. Some will ban swimming. Some will limit surfing hours. Some will have lifeguards at a limited number of beaches.
Several Shore towns are enforcing even tighter regulations than those requested by state officials. For example, Sea Girt is electing to keep its boardwalk closed this weekend, and Spring Lake is asking its beachgoers to maintain a distance of 6 feet from each other and 12 feet from other groups while sunbathing.
Here is a breakdown of the others kinds of restrictions you can expect to see at the Jersey Shore this weekend. As you will see, the policies vary widely from town to town.
The beaches and boardwalk remain open and will continue to do so as long as individuals practice social distancing.
Beach badges are not required for entrance to any Atlantic City beaches.
All beaches will be open for recreational activities, as well as for swimming and sunbathing. Families are permitted to congregate in groups of up to 10 people, and romantic partners are allowed to sit together as well.
All beachgoers are asked to wear masks.
Throughout the pre-season weekends, lifeguards will be on only four beaches: the ones at Roosevelt Boulevard and 16th, 26th and 38th streets.
The Cove Beach recreational area will remain closed to vehicular traffic until further notice. The promenade at the sea wall remains closed.
Beach tags are not required until June 20.
Running, walking, surfing, fishing, sunbathing, and sitting on the beach will all be permitted from sunrise to sunset.
Swimming, organized sports in which social distancing cannot be practiced, and group gatherings are prohibited.
Public restrooms, showers and water fountains remain closed until further notice.
The borough currently does not have beach tags for sale. It has said tags will be available after the beach season opens and once the beach is staffed on or about the third weekend in June.
Sunbathing will be permitted at all beaches beginning this Friday.
The Beach Patrol will be present, but only up to four beaches will be open for swimming both this weekend and the weekend of May 30, weather permitting.
Large gatherings are prohibited.
Beach tags are on sale at the Pavilion but are not required to be worn to enter the beach until June 6.
Beaches will open for sunbathing Saturday. The boardwalk will reopen Friday.
Swimming at guarded beaches will also be allowed on at the normal four pre-season beaches, including those on Headquarters Suffolk, Dorset, New Haven and Lafayette avenues. Swimming will expand to all guarded beaches as the season progresses.
Surfing and paddle boarding are also permitted, as are singles rowing and kayaking. Gathering in groups on the beach is not.
Ventnor officials are asking beachgoers to change and prepare for surfing off the beach and boardwalk until those areas are reopened.
Bicycle riding on the boardwalk is prohibited until Friday, May 29.
Beach badges will be required from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
CAPE MAY COUNTY
Beginning Friday, the Avalon Boardwalk will reopen. On the beaches, passive recreation including beach chairs, blankets and sunbathing are permissible and lifeguards will be on duty for the summer.
Families who come to the beach are required to remain at least 6 feet apart from other blankets and chairs.
Lifeguards will be on duty beginning Friday, but no beach tags will be required on the beaches until Friday, July 3.
Sitting and sunbathing will be permitted at all beaches beginning Friday.
Swimming is still prohibited, as are dogs on the beaches.
Beach tags will be not be required this weekend.
Sitting and sunbathing will be permitted beginning Friday, according to Bill Oat, Chief of Cape May Point Beach Patrol.
The Pavilion Circle is open for passive recreation only, with games, sports and jogging prohibited.
Beach tags will be not be required until mid-June at the earliest.
The Wildwood Beach is open for sunbathers and other recreational activities, and the boardwalk for walking, biking and running.
Essential businesses on the boardwalk are open for takeout, curbside pickup and delivery only.
All beaches are free in Wildwood.
The Ocean City Beach Patrol will begin guarding the following beaches on Memorial Day weekend to ensure that social distancing guidelines are being followed: St. Charles Place and Brighton places as well as 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 26th, 34th and 58th streets.
Groups of 10 or more are prohibited. Tents and canopies will not be permitted on the beaches between 1st and 10th streets. On all other beaches, they will be limited in size to 8 feet wide by 6 feet deep by 6 feet tall, and they must be placed at the back of the beaches within 10 feet of the seaward side of the dunes.
Hand sanitization stations have been installed at regular intervals along the boardwalk, which is open for walking, running, bicycling and for access to takeout food. Public restrooms on the boardwalk are open and being sanitized throughout the day.
Beach tags are not required until June 6.
The public has regular access to the beaches but must maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet from others at all times while on the beach and promenade — with the exception of their immediate family and household members.
Beach tags are required beginning Memorial Day weekend.
Beaches will be open to all residents and visitors for passive and active purposes, which now include the use of beach chairs and blankets.
Organized games, contact sports, sports camps and special events are prohibited on the beach.
Beach tags are required beginning this Saturday.
Upper Township is allowing full access to its beaches for all permitted activities.
Lifeguards will be on duty beginning Memorial Day weekend.
All beaches in Upper Township are free and do not require beach tags.
Residents are allowed to sit and sunbathe. Swimming will also be permitted when lifeguards are on duty, beginning Saturday.
Beach visitors must remain at least 6 feet apart, excluding family members, caretakers, household members or romantic partners. Groups at the beaches should be limited to 10 or fewer people.
All beaches in Wildwood Crest are free and do not require beach tags.
The beach and boardwalk remain open, though individuals must adhere to social distancing guidelines, according to Paul McDonnell, beach manager of the Allenhurst Beach Club.
Members and guests of the Allenhurst Beach Club will gain admittance to their beaches. Other Allenhurst beaches are open to the public.
The pool remains closed.
Swimming and sunbathing are both allowed, and lifeguards will be on duty. If the beaches become too crowded, capacity limitations will be put into place.
Social distancing will be required on the beach, meaning that groups of beachgoers, including families, household members, caretakers and couples, must sit at least 6 feet apart from others.
Face coverings or masks are recommended when walking on the boardwalk, entering or exiting the beach, or using the restroom facilities. They do not need to be worn when swimming or sunbathing.
To maintain social distancing, the boardwalk has been set up for one-way travel in each direction and benches have been removed to eliminate congregation.
Overall beach capacity will be controlled by limiting the number of beach passes sold. Individual areas of the beach will be monitored daily and access points may be closed to ensure proper social distancing.
Asbury Park Convention Hall will remain closed until further notice, but restrooms will be accessible to the public from the beach side entrance.
Beach passes must be worn at all times.
Beginning May 23, the beach will be open for swimming each weekend. Starting June 15, the beach will be open daily.
Walking and running will be permitted on the boardwalk. Bicycle riding is allowed prior to 9 a.m.
The beach and boardwalk will close at 8 p.m.
Beach badges are required throughout the summer.
The beach and boardwalk are open with social distancing guidelines in place.
The Belmar Social Distancing Task Force and Belmar Police Department are actively surveying the beach, boardwalk and beach badge sales to ensure that individuals are practicing social distancing.
No dogs are allowed on the beach or boardwalk, while bicycling, rollerblading and skateboarding are all prohibited.
Beach badges will be required seven days a week until Labor Day.
The sale of seasonal badges will be temporarily suspended beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday in response to the crowds of people purchasing them in recent days.
The sale will resume on Tuesday at the Taylor Pavilion.
Beginning Saturday, the beach will be staffed and open to season and daily badge holders. On Tuesday, the beach will be staffed on a daily basis by lifeguards, and swimming will be permitted.
Members of the public are required to practice social distancing and stay 6 feet apart whenever practicable, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members or romantic partners.
Showers and restrooms will be in use with a proactive cleaning process in place, but water fountains, picnic areas, playgrounds and pavilions will remain unavailable.
Boardwalk benches are dually unavailable. Bicycles are banned from the boardwalk from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Badges are required beginning Saturday.
Groups of more than 10 are prohibited from the beaches. Police will be consistently present throughout the beachfront area to ensure that social distancing guidelines are being followed by beachgoers.
The deck, pool and casino area of the Deal Casino Beach Club remain closed to the public. Only members and their guests will be allowed entry to beaches.
Face coverings are required to be worn at beach entry points and when going to the bathroom or the snack bar.
Restrooms will be open, but capacity limitations will be enforced.
Police and beach staff will be monitoring and enforcing social distancing requirements. Beachgoers are asked to wear masks upon entering and exiting the beach.
No groups larger than 10 people will be allowed on the beach.
Bathrooms remain closed, though portable johns will be available to the public. Showers will also be available.
If social distancing becomes too difficult to maintain at an access point, that beach entrance will be temporarily closed and patrons will be directed north or south to the next open beach access point.
Beach badges are required.
Beginning May 22, seasonal pass holders alone can access the beach.
Each beach day, overall capacity will be monitored regularly and determinations will be made if needed to reduce or restrict access to certain beaches.
Beach access will be limited to the nine access ramps, which include Potters, Sea Watch, Ocean, Riddle, Main, Brielle, Pompano, Whiting and Inlet. The beach walk will remain closed north-to-south, and use will be limited to east-to-west crossings to access the beach at the listed locations.
Restroom facilities at Ocean, Brielle and Main will be open, with new procedures for regular cleaning.
Social distancing guidelines must be followed.
The purchase of daily passes will be limited to 175 per day this summer season.
To avoid overcrowding, beach access will be controlled by limiting the number of daily and seasonal beach badges sold to beachgoers. When shoreline maximum capacity is reached, the beach will be closed to additional visitors.
All beach staff will be required to wear masks. Lifeguard stands have been donated by the Ocean Grove Beach Foundation to ensure that only one lifeguard will be sitting in one bench at a time.
Boardwalk benches have been taped off to prevent large gatherings, and larger public bathroom buildings are closed. Singular-occupancy portable toilets will be available for use.
Badges are required beginning Saturday.
Swimming at Sandy Hook will be “at your own risk,” according to the National Park Service, as lifeguards will not be on duty during the holiday weekend. Swimmers will not be subject to summonses for going in the water, the department said.
All trails and shorelines of the Gateway National Recreation Area are accessible from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sandy Hook is limiting capacity to 50%.
There is a $15 charge per day for beach parking from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Parking Lot A North Beach/K Lot parking areas have been closed.
Sea Bright public beaches will be fully staffed beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday.
The municipal parking lot is open for parking, but capacity will be reduced when necessary to limit the number of patrons with access to the beach.
Each beach day, overall capacity will be monitored regularly by beach staff designated solely for this purpose.
The walkway on top of the sea wall will be closed, although the stairs on the sea wall will be open for east-west crossings to gain access to the beach.
The public restrooms will be open, with up to three patrons at one time allowed to enter. These patrons are encouraged to wear face coverings. The showers and foot wash stations will not be available.
Badges are required.
Social distancing measures will remain in effect and will be strictly enforced. No group activities are permitted.
The boardwalk will remain closed through Memorial Day weekend, with social distancing signage implemented at entrance ways.
Bathrooms remain closed with the exception of beachfront bathrooms at the pavilion.
A limited number of daily badges will be sold. No seasonal badges will be sold during the holiday weekend.
Beginning May 23, beaches will be open every weekend at all access points. Residents will be allowed to lounge but must maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between all people and at least 12 feet between their towel/chairs and those of other beachgoers. Large groups and gatherings are prohibited.
Masks must be worn when entering with the beach staff, on access walks from the street to the beach, and when going to the restrooms, snack bars and pavilion locker areas.
No badges will be sold at the beachfront; all beachgoers must have purchased their badges in advance. The number of seasonal and daily badges will be limited and sales will close once the limit has been reached.
The boardwalk will remain closed, except at designated access points to the beach: Pitney, Lorraine, Tule, Washington, Sussex, Salem, Union and Brown Avenue walkways.
Bathrooms will be open with new cleaning protocols and social distancing guidelines enforced, although showers and water fountains will remain unavailable. Residents and visitors must wear masks when utilizing the bathrooms, snack bars and beach access points and when interacting with beach staff, lifeguards or police officers.
Food is temporarily allowed on the beach due to the boardwalk’s closure.
Beginning June 15, the beach will be open and staffed daily.
Badges are required beginning June 20.
Social distancing guidelines must be followed.
Brick Beach 1 and Windward Beach Park will be open to swimming beginning Friday, May 23. All beaches will be open daily beginning June 15 and will be subject to new safety measures put in place.
The number of daily beach badges sold will be limited to prevent crowding.
Beachgoers will be required to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Beachgoers may access the beach for exercising, fishing, sunbathing and surfing as long as they continue to practice social distancing.
The boardwalk will be reopen Friday for walking and exercising, but bicycles are prohibited. Individuals using the boardwalk are asked to keep as far right as possible to increase distance while passing others and continually keep 6 feet of separation from non-family members.
Badges will not be required until June 20, when lifeguards will be on duty at the beaches. Badge limitation may be imposed if conditions at the beachfront become unsafe.
Badge checkers and lifeguards will be staffed beginning June 20. Until then, beachgoers must practice social distancing and are asked to wear a mask upon entering the beach.
At present day, the borough does not intend to restrict the number of badges being sold, but if this must occur, daily badges, rather than seasonal ones, will be limited.
Walkways will be closed once capacity limits are reached, and beachgoers will be instructed to move north or south on the beach to enter at the next available walkway.
Four-hour parking rules will be in place.
At Maryland Avenue Beach, badges will be required on Memorial Day weekend and weekends only throughout early June. Starting June 20, badges will be required at all times.
The beach will be held to a maximum capacity limit. When the daily capacity is reached, no more patrons will be allowed.
No groups of 10 people or more will be allowed onto the beach. Beachgoers must maintain a minimum of 6 feet of distance from others at all times.
Swimming will be permitted only when badge checkers and lifeguards are present.
From May 23 to June 30, a seasonal beach badge or senior beach badge will be required for beach entry.
Swimming, coolers and dogs are all prohibited from the beaches, as are gatherings of 10 or more people.
Public restrooms will be open on a limited basis, but shower pedestals and water fountains will be unavailable.
The beach will be cleared by 5 p.m. and the boardwalk by 11 p.m.
Access to the beach and boardwalk will be available at the following points: Blaine, Franklin, Dupont, Hiering, Carteret and Hancock avenues.
Beginning Saturday, beach badges will be required for entry to the beach and boat ramp passes will be needed for the 14th Avenue boat ramp on weekends through June 30, at which point the beach will be open daily.
Badges sales will be monitored and limited if necessary.
Gatherings of 10 or more people are prohibited from the beach and boardwalk.
Ortley Beach will be manned by lifeguards on Memorial Day weekend and every weekend thereafter until June 20, at which point it will be staffed daily.
The boardwalk has been reopened. Signs are posted at each beach entrance encouraging social distancing. Patrons are recommended but not required to wear masks.
Badges are required beginning June 20.
LONG BEACH ISLAND
Social distancing guidelines are in place.
Beginning June 13, lifeguards will be staffed on the beaches, and individuals will need a badge to gain entrance, according to the borough.
Beaches are open and all individuals must adhere to social distancing guidelines, including staying 6 feet apart — with the exception of immediate family members.
Public bathrooms are open.
Badges will be required beginning in mid-June.
Beaches are open with some restrictions, including no beach buggies or congregating, plus social distancing must be maintained.
Badges are required on all beaches beginning June 27 for anyone 12 years of age or older.
All beachgoers must practice social distancing.
Beach badges will be required for beach usage starting June 1.
Social distancing is required at all beaches.
Beach badges are required from mid-June through Labor Day at all Bay and Ocean beaches.
Beaches remain open with social distancing regulations in place.
Badges will be required beginning in mid-June.
The park is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., though fishing is allowed from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Restrooms at Swimming Area 1 are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. All other restrooms closed.
Beginning in mid-June, lifeguards will be on duty and swimming will be permitted.
Social distancing is required and parking capacity has been reduced to 50%.
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Caroline Fassett may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nestor F. Sebastian may be reached at NSebastian@njadvancemedia.com.