NORTH WILDWOOD, N.J. (CBS) — Wildwood and North Wildwood will be among several Jersey Shore towns in Cape May County planning to partially reopen Friday. The beaches and boardwalk will be open for activities like walking, running and biking.
North Wildwood Mayor Patrick Rosenello joined Eyewitness News Friday morning to discuss how his town prepared for the reopening.
Rosenello shared what people will and will not be able to do as the shore town takes its first steps to reopen due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“Everything we’re doing is under the guidance of the governor’s social distancing guidelines. So, anything you’re allowed to do, you’re only supposed to be outside doing it, outside with immediate household members. Our boardwalk is reopening for the first time in, I guess, six or seven weeks, where you can now walk, bike, run again on the boardwalk,” he said. “There are some food service places open for takeout. We are going to permit people to start sitting on the beach again, under the umbrella of doing these activities with immediate family members.”
The mayor says he wants visitors to continue the same social distancing practices that many people have been doing at places like grocery stores.
“We are counting on people to really have some social conscious in this. When you go to the grocery store right now, you’re not standing shoulder to shoulder with somebody. So, when you’re at the beach or the boardwalk, we expect people to really just practice those social distancing skills that you developed,” Rosenello said.
Rosenello also says that he feels the shore is going to be “unrecognizable” if businesses don’t get open within the next 30 to 45 days.
“These small businesses are almost exclusively small family-owned businesses up and down the Jersey Shore. They cannot make it through an entire season without reopening. So, we have to figure out a way to get these businesses open.”
As for the summer season, the mayor says this year may resemble summers of the past, with even more of a number of people visiting the shore versus the peaks and valleys of crowds he has seen in recent years.
“It’s going to be unlike any summer we’ve had at the Jersey Shore. Things will be different. I think we are going to have maybe more of a traditional, how it used to be decades ago with families out of work, kids not doing camps. I’m anticipating second homeowners are going to probably spend good portions of the summer down here. I think people will be coming at different times than they normally would,” Rosenello said. “The last few the shore developed peaks and valleys — huge busy weekends and quiet times — it’s going to be a little different than that this year. It’s going to be more even and we will adapt.”
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