More N.J. barrier island towns institute curfews for minors amid disregard for coronavirus guidelines

(Public domain image)

(Public domain image)

An increasing number of Ocean County municipalities along the New Jersey coast have adopted curfews for minors due to non-compliance with pandemic health regulations.

Long Beach Township adopted the first curfew in late June amid a spike in young people congregating in large numbers and not following social distancing protocols. Anyone under the age of 18 must be off public property between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, according to the measure.

In nearby Beach Haven, officials on July 1 enacted a 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. curfew, with the same exception as Long Beach Township, for minors due to social distancing violations.

Toms River is the latest to adopt a curfew, issued Thursday, due to “a dramatic increase in juvenile complains in the North Beach” section of the municipality.

“Residents have reported increasing problems with unruly juveniles congregating nightly in violation of the social distancing and face mask restrictions imposed by the governor’s executive order, and also committing acts of criminal mischief and other disorderly behavior,” according to the order.

The measure requires all minors to stay off public property, unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. in the township’s Silver Beach, Monterey, Normandy, Chadwick, Ocean Beaches 1, 2 and 3 communities.

During a June press briefing, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said young people are not immune to becoming infected with the coronavirus.

“In every case, I hate to tell you, you’re wrong,” he quipped.

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