New Jersey's beaches and lakes will be open in time for Memorial Day Weekend, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Thursday (story continues below poll).
Will you be going to the Jersey Shore this month?
Totally - can't wait
No way - not risking it
The beaches and lakes -- which had been closed to stop the spread of coronavirus -- are expected to open May 22 -- three days before Memorial Day.
Social distancing guidelines will be in place, the governor said, urging residents to wear face masks whenever possible.
Playgrounds, rides, arcades, games, water fountains, picnic areas and water play areas will remain closed.
"The Shore is central to our Jersey identity and we want to ensure that families can safely enjoy it this summer," Murphy said. "The data tells us we can make this announcement now."
Restroom facilities at New Jersey parks will also reopen, as long as they undergo frequent and proper cleaning, the governor said.
"This is a big step,'' Murphy said. "This is the biggest step" toward reopening the state's economy.
The governor is leaving specific decisions to local officials. Most Jersey Shore communities have been drawing up local plans for reopening boardwalks and beaches and parking rules.
Murphy said further steps in reopening -- such as elective surgeries, elections and pool guidance -- will be announced soon.
The move comes one day after Murphy announced the reopening of drive-thru and curbside sales by nonessential businesses and restart of nonessential construction, effective 6 a.m. Monday. The state's parks were reopened the first weekend of May.
This is a developing story. Check back for more.
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