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Shore mayor outlines ‘common sense’ partial reopening plan

A Jersey Shore beach scene.

A Jersey Shore beach scene. (Justin Auciello/WHYY)

A Jersey Shore mayor has unveiled what he says is a “common sense” plan to incrementally reopen his municipality.

Point Pleasant Beach Mayor Paul Kanitra told News 12 that he will begin removing some restrictions on Friday, including allowing parking along the popular Manasquan Inlet. To insure social distancing, some spaces will be off-limits.

If more Class 1 and 2 police officers become available, Kanitra said he will seek to reopen the Maryland Avenue beach to primary and secondary residences with social distancing enforced as a test-run.

Kanitra did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to a Patch report, Kanitra is also considering allowing downtown retail businesses to operate in the Ocean County municipality with reduced occupancy and required mask-wearing if New Jersey’s stay-at-home order ends on May 15, which is the date schools are currently closed until.

The state’s current state-at-home order does not have an end date, and Gov. Phil Murphy is expected to lay out a “roadmap for reopening New Jersey” that will be “driven by data, science and common sense” on Monday. The governor said over the weekend that the state will likely “move as one,” taking into account the high number of COVID-19 cases in North Jersey and the ever-increasing death toll.

In Cape May County’s Ocean City, Mayor Jay Gillian has said that while it won’t be “business as usual” this summer, “there will be a summer.” The city has purchased 100,000 masks to hand out to visitors.

Lavallette Mayor Walter LaCicero told The Asbury Park Press that his municipality, with recently widened beaches, can accommodate social distancing but reopening the beaches will require a “coordinated effort” with other municipalities to avoid overcrowding.

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