WILDWOOD, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday “there’s a shot” some of the shore could be open for Memorial Day weekend. Those who depend on tourism are keeping their fingers crossed and working on plans as well.
As the numbers continue to trend down, Murphy announced there are no dates on just when New Jersey will reopen but it won’t be business as usual for quite some time, and that includes down the shore.
“I hope, as I’ve said many times, that we have some semblance of norm on the shore this summer. But it will be some semblance, I just don’t envision being in tight spaces without real restrictions on capacity and social distancing,” Murphy said.
In a news conference Monday, Murphy announced plans to restore economic health through public health.
Summer won’t look like it has in years past but Murphy hopes to reopen shore towns sooner rather than later.
That’s good news for the Cape May County Department of Tourism.
“It’s exciting, we’re energized by that. We are all anxious to open up. All of our businesses have been patiently waiting,” Cape May County Department of Tourism Director Diane Wieland said.
Wieland says Cape May lost a lot of revenue over the Easter holiday due to the stay-at-home order, but the business community is putting together its own plan of what a reopening may look like.
“They will have a solid plan, hopefully within a few days, and be ready for when our county is going to follow the guidelines of the governor, and the science behind all of this is so important,” Wieland said.
The mayor of Wildwood says the county mayors have also been working on a plan to present to Gov. Murphy.
“It’ll be a percentage of a phase-in — make some of the businesses open at a certain percentage and then work your way up to 100% as we get into the beginning of summer,” Wildwood Mayor Pete Byron said.
Byron says the proposed plan would work over two-week increments but the main priority is the public’s health.
“If we could start to really gradually open in the beginning of June, I think what we lose in the beginning of summer, will gain at the end of summer,” Byron said.