BRADLEY BEACH — Preparing for a summer the likes of which the Jersey Shore has not seen before, borough officials have laid out guidelines on how the beachfront will operate.
To make a long story short, according to Mayor Gary Engelstad, beachgoers will be turned away once maximum capacity is reached and tourists will be asked to spread out in order to abide by the state’s social distancing policy.“Our mindset is, what is a safe amount of people on the beach, how do we keep them separated and how do we encourage them to do the right thing on the boardwalk?” the mayor asked, adding that there are some residents in the borough who are upset that the beach will open while others are cheering the opportunity to return to some sort of normalcy.
The plan was compiled by the borough’s administrator, David Brown III, and the borough’s chief of police and director of emergency services, Leonard Guida.
“Since we are in uncharted territory, we will learn as we go along and if necessary we will make adjustments,” the mayor said. “Through this whole process, we are going to expect that residents and visitors are patient, and they understand we have never done this before.”
Originally, the borough had planned to not sell daily badges on Memorial Day weekend. The mayor had announced earlier this month that the sale of daily badges would be suspended until at least June 5, in keeping with Gov. Phil Murphy’s extension of the stay-at-home order.
The borough will now sell daily badges, starting on Memorial Day weekend, after new guidance from the governor stating that beaches must be open to the public.
According to the mayor, the borough’s decision to suspend the sale of daily beach badges was “overruled” by the governor’s office.
“The trigger point for us to sell daily badges would have been the lifting of the 30-day emergency order, so the governor, who I think has done a great job, has contradicted himself by saying, ‘OK, here is the beach guidelines’ but still left the emergency order in place, and they don’t match up,” the mayor said. “If we are in an emergency order, then it is difficult to have business as usual on the beach.”
The borough published a complete list of new guidelines on its website on Monday, May 18.
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