OCEAN CITY, N.J. (CBS) — Sunday was a beautiful day to be down the shore as parts of Cape May County reopened this weekend, but the towns did so with many restrictions in place. The coronavirus pandemic is changed life down the shore. How things play out a month before summer begins will very much be a test of things to come.
Ocean City’s mayor is now allowing the beach open for fishers and surfers, as of Saturday. Visitors can also walk or run along the beach for exercise, but one restriction in place is that people will not be allowed to sunbathe.
The reason is, Ocean City officials don’t want crowds to congregate.
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The boardwalk is also back open as well as takeout businesses like Manco & Manco Pizza on East 9th Street. The pizza shop is just thankful to see customers again.
“We took a substantial hit just like every business in America, but at least with the curbside pickup and delivery, we’re able to keep our full-time staff employed,” Manco Pizza owner Chuck Bangle said.
How does he anticipate Philadelphia’s stay-at-home order to affect his business?
“Well, I’ll tell you even though there is a stay-at-home order, there’s no shortage of people from Pennsylvania, New York and surrounding states coming to Ocean City to check out their second homes, just to get out of the city and come down to get some fresh air. They’re here,” Bangle said.
Meanwhile, Cape May County officials submitted a plan to the New Jersey Governor’s Office to reopen the state on June 1. Besides opening beaches and boardwalks for exercise, it also would allow outdoor dining and bar service, as well as indoor dining and retail with social distancing.
The New Jersey Governor’s Office is reviewing the plan and is set to have a discussion with Cape May County officials early this week.