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Are beaches open? What are the restrictions?

Last Updated: 05/07/2021

Note: If there is no unexpected surge in COVID-19 numbers, on Wednesday, May 19, the outdoor gathering limit will be removed. There will be no limit for outdoor gatherings, however, attendees are still required to remain six feet apart from other groups. In addition, the general indoor gathering limit will be increased to 50 people.

Beaches, boardwalks, lakes, and lakeshores in New Jersey can reopen, permitted that social distancing measures are followed.

NOTE: For specific openings, safety protocols, and capacity limitations at beaches and lakeshores, please check with local or municipal authorities.

To save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19, wear a mask, wash your hands, practice social distancing, and stay home if you are sick. Face coverings are required in indoor public spaces and in outdoor public spaces when social distancing is difficult to maintain.

In addition, special events, including fireworks displays, at public and private beaches, boardwalks, lakes, and lakeshores are permitted so long as they comply with the restrictions on outdoor gatherings, which limit general outdoor gatherings to 500 people and require social distancing.

There is no limit for outdoor gatherings for wedding ceremonies and receptions, funerals, memorial services, religious activities, or political activities.

Playgrounds, amusement parks, and water parks may reopen indoor and outdoor spaces, so long as they follow required mitigation measures. For information about required mitigation measures, refer to this article.

Arcades may reopen indoor and outdoor spaces so long as they comply with required social distancing and safety guidelines. For more information about required mitigation measures, refer to this article.

All public and private beaches, boardwalks, lakes, and lakeshores must enforce the following restrictions:

  • Imposing non-discriminatory capacity restrictions;
  • Requiring that members of the public practice social distancing;
  • Developing and implementing lifeguard training and beach operation plans that address COVID-19 considerations;
  • Removing, taping-off or otherwise blocking all benches and tables;
  • Prohibiting the tying together of boats to prevent group gatherings;
  • Developing and implementing a continuous public outreach campaign, including signage, social media, town and county websites, mobile device applications, radio, and banner-plane advertising;
  • Prohibiting contact sports or sports that routinely entail individuals interacting within six feet of one another;
  • Limit occupancy in public restrooms; and
  • Implementing sanitization protocols.

Individual beaches can determine specific social distancing measures including but not limited to:

  • Demarcating six feet of spacing in any areas where the public may form a line;
  • Limiting the number of lifeguards to each stand or tower, maintaining social distance between lifeguards, and adding stands or towers as necessary;
  • Installing physical barriers between the public and employees in ticket or beach badge sale booths; and
  • Limiting occupancy of ticket or beach badge sales booth to one person at a time.

Source: Executive Order No. 143; Administrative Order No. 2020-15; Executive Order No. 149; Executive Order No. 152; Executive Order No. 157; Executive Order No. 196; Executive Order No. 230; Executive Order No. 238