SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Some beaches and boardwalks on the Jersey Shore are already open after Gov. Phil Murphy gave the OK.
Hundreds of people were out in Seaside Heights on Friday.
The crisp ocean air and smell of boardwalk food are exactly what Kate Schouldice hoped to get with her three kids at Seaside Heights.
“This is actually our first day out,” she told CBS2’s Cory James. “We just got a new puppy, I don’t know what I was thinking, and I’m a nurse at the hospital. So I don’t know what, like, it’s been insane.”
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Phase one of the reopening came with restrictions.
If you were on the boardwalk, you had to be constantly moving.
The story was the same along the beach — no blankets, no chairs and no coolers.
“The rules on the beach kinda suck, but you gotta do what you gotta do,” one woman said.
The limitations did not bother Jeff Jackson, owner of Jimbo’s Bar and Grill.
He is down 90% in sales this year compared to last year, so being able to do to-go orders from his restaurant was a small victory.
“Today, it’s a small step in a long marathon,” Jackson said. “Any step forward is better than nothing.”
Murphy opened up beaches Thursday, giving municipalities the power to determine when that happens.
People gathered along the Jersey Shore in Long Branch, Belmar and Manasquan.
“I gotta tell you, I’m happy to see people. This is the most people I’ve seen in two months,” one man said. “But the key to success is gonna be how we take care of ourselves and how we take care of others.”
But Shawn Barry felt some people were not keeping others in mind.
“If you just take a look around, from here, you see obviously a lot more people without masks than with,” he said. “It’s a little frustrating.”
Police can’t enforce the recommendations, but they were out patrolling.
While the carnival rides and roller coasters were closed, for some, getting outside for fresh air was more than enough.
“I’m happy we’re doing something, at least,” one man said.
“Just to get out and walk and be outside,” one woman said.
Next Saturday for Memorial Day weekend, phase two of the reopening begins.
Bathrooms will open then, and if you want access the beach, you’ll have to purchase a seasonal badge from the city. Click here for more information.