NEW JERSEY (CBSNewYork) – New Jersey’s road to reopening continued Thursday with casinos and other recreational facilities.
Amusement parks and water parks were allowed to their gates – just in time for the July 4th weekend. Same for arcades on the Jersey Shore boardwalk.
Aquariums, bowling alleys, museums and batting cages could also reopen.
Businesses must operate at only 25% capacity with proper safety measures in place, and face coverings are required.
At Lodi Lanes, customers have their temperatures taken when they walk in.
“Life has really been miserable, because we can’t bowl. So, every time you see us we’re walking around practicing, trying to stay in form,” Tracy Winbush, of Teaneck, told CBS2’s Alice Gainer.
The bowling alley had been bust preparing for Thursday, and said they’re ready to roll.
“You come in, you rent a lane by the hour. There is no more by the game or anything else,” said Mike Calvi, the owner. “Using every other lane…We have a sanitation machine that sprays the bowling balls, sprays the shoes.”
But, no indoor dining yet mean the snack and drink bars remain closed, which is a tough blow for the business.
Meadowlands Racetrack also opened Thursday
Five of the nine casinos in Atlantic City are reopening at 25% capacity. Three are limiting to family and loyal customers as they test new protocols.
One remains closed, The Borgata.
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Health screenings are required, in addition to face coverings, to enter.
“We’ve disabled slot machines to allow for social distancing – there will be fewer players at each table,” said Terry Glebocki, Ocean Casino’s CEO. “Our employees will be wearing the masks, our guests will be wearing the masks.”
Outdoor playgrounds and outdoor water parks are reopening, too.
Outdoor amusement parks can open at 50% capacity.
Employees must wear gloves, face coverings and be provided breaks for repeated hand washing.
“We’ve installed hand sanitizing stations at the entrance and exit of every ride,” said Brian Hartley, vice president of Playland’s Castaway Cove. “It’s going to be a learning process for everyone.”
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Indoor recreational facilities, like museums, libraries and aquariums can open their indoor spaces at 25% capacity and with social distancing.
Gyms and fitness centers can reopen outdoor spaces and offer limited, individualized indoor instruction by appointment only.
“We want to do everything we can. We’ve lived through hell, we don’t want to have to live through this again if we could possible avoid it,” said Gov. Phil Murphy.
CBS2 called around to quite a few museums and libraries, and found many remain closed. Some libraries said they’re only allowing pick up and drop off.
On Thursday, the governor announced an executive order raising the limit on outdoor gatherings to 500, starting July 3, in anticipation of high school graduation ceremonies next week.
Watch Gov. Murphy’s Daily Press Conference On Reopening
Murphy said the state will continue to monitor and take action against establishments that are not following social distancing and other guidelines.
However, he said the postponement of indoor dining in New Jersey is the result of the virus’s spread across other states.
“If you’re going to be at an outdoor bar or an outdoor restaurant…remember that we cannot let our guards down. Don’t crowd around bars, keep your face covering on…and if you feel uncomfortable at an establishment because of overcrowding, leave,” said Murphy. “We cannot have an overcrowded bar turn into a COVID-19 tinderbox.”
Murphy also extended the state’s public health emergency for an addition 30 days.