Several beaches in New Jersey followed through with their plans to reopen Friday, with new rules in place due to the coronavirus.
Visitors need to keep it moving, and not sunbathe or put down a beach chair. Swimming is still off limits. Fishing and surfing are permitted.
“We ask that you follow these temporary rules; unfortunately, if they are not followed, we will again close our beaches,” a joint letter from the mayors of Avalon and Stone Harbor reads.
Full coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it impacts you
Ventnor also opened its beaches Friday with those restrictions in place. Beach patrols will be present to enforce the rules and make sure visitors are practicing social distancing.
Meanwhile, Cape May County leaders are asking New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy to allow for reopening of all beaches June 1.
That’s just one part of a 35-page county plan to reopen safely. It also pleads for this to be done soon, though no sooner than June 1. Even the loss of the beginning of the tourist season is already showing its effects on local businesses, the document says.
“Each day that passes brings them closer to financial ruin,” it continues.
The Wildwoods’ boardwalks also opened Friday, the first in the county to do so. The Cape May County plan would see all boardwalks in the county reopened with proper precautions.
Elsewhere in New Jersey, Island Beach State Park is open and most residents appeared to be following the guidelines well - staying six feet apart, and not lounging on blankets or in chairs. But Corson's Inlet State Park in Ocean City was closed after one day due to crowds, remaining open only for dropping off boats.
Murphy suggested in a state press conference that limiting parking might be an effective way to control the crowd sizes.
But at this time, Delaware’s beaches remain closed. The mayors of several Delaware beach towns sent a letter to Gov. John Carney outlining a plan to safely reopen, but nothing concrete is in place right now.
On Thursday, Maryland’s beaches will open for walking and exercise, Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement. Ocean City, Maryland, had already announced its own plan to reopen the beaches starting this weekend.
Ocean City is close to the Delaware border and the southern Delaware beaches of Fenwick Island, South Bethany and Bethany Beach. And it's not terribly far from Dewey Beach and Rehoboth, all popular with tourists from the Philadelphia area.
However, a spokesman for Hogan confirmed to NBC10 that out of state travel to Maryland beaches would go against the statewide stay-at-home order.