Benny, stay home: Shore towns trying hard to keep you away during outbreak
More Jersey Shore towns are discouraging visits in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus through social distancing — and are dreading the next warm day that brings crowds to their beaches.
Point Pleasant Beach mayor Paul Kanitra said in a statement on the borough website a resolution is being drafted by the Borough Council to put a moratorium on all vacation home and property rentals, because of limited resources available to deal with an increase in population.
"Resources in our area are limited in the off-season and we do not currently have the capacity to handle an influx of guests," Kanitra wrote.
The mayor also said the borough is also putting up "physical barriers" to block access to the boardwalk and inlet parking lot to prevent people from congregating, because the area is to too narrow for proper social distancing.
The beach remains open but will be monitored to make sure users maintain a distance of six feet.
Gov. Phil Murphy ordered all businesses deemed "non-essential" to close until further notice, and all gatherings banned, in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 through social distancing.
The order largely requires that the state's 9 million residents remain home, although they're allowed to walk or run outside as long as they can maintain a safe distance from others.
Asbury Park deputy mayor Amy Quinn told the Asbury Park Press she is "petrified" of a 70 degree day, and is praying for cold, rainy days.
New Jersey 101.5 chief meteorologist Dan Zarrow says Quinn has nothing to worry about until at least Monday, with lots of clouds and showers during the next few days with temperatures in the 40s and 50s.
In a post on its Facebook page, the City of Asbury Park said its beaches and boardwalk remain open, but groups of two or more are not permitted. Police are monitoring for social distancing practices.
"Should residents and visitors fail to follow guidelines, the Asbury Park Boardwalk and Beaches are subject to closure," reads the Facebook page.
Bradley Beach mayor Gary Engelstad told New Jersey 101.5 he has decided to keep his borough's beach and boardwalk open. He said people on the boardwalk so far have practiced good social distancing and during walks with his wife has seen people give each other a wide berth as they pass.
Engelstad said he is "scared to death" at the prospect of an extended period of time in which people are discouraged from coming to the beach. He has already been asked about the status of the borough's annual Memorial Day parade and said he is hopeful he will not have to cancel or postpone.
Spring Lake Heights closed its boardwalk due to social distancing concerns but will allow access to the beach from Brown Avenue and Pitney Avenue, police said on their Facebook page.
Seaside Heights Mayor Anthony Vaz ordered the ocean and bay beaches closed on Monday,and had their crossover gates locked.
He urged those who may want to head to Seaside Heights when the weather gets warmer or have a second home in Seaside Heights to remain at their primary residences.
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