OCEAN COUNTY – More shore communities are closing their beaches per a tightening of restrictions pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A sign on Route 35 on the barrier island can be seen alerting Brick residents in that area that the beaches are closed and “violators will be prosecuted.”
This is all part of Gov. Phil Murphy’s urging that local officials within Ocean County’s shore communities are tightening restrictions in order to improve social distancing as COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the region.
Communities such as Seaside Heights, Point Pleasant Beach and Lavallette already have closed their beaches and boardwalks along with barrier island sections of Toms River such as Ortley Beach.
“Governor Phil Murphy has made it clear that limiting or blocking ocean and beach access is under the jurisdiction of the local towns,” said Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari. “In this time of crisis, the county will support whatever our local communities deem necessary.”
Other tourist destinations, including Point Pleasant Beach, Bay Head and Long Beach Township are imposing bans or restrictions on rental properties.
Municipal officials have repeatedly said that the influx of summer residents during the off season is putting a strain on local services.
““While tourism is Ocean County’s bread and butter, we do ask everyone to stay in their primary homes and not relocate to a summer house in Ocean County or anywhere else,” Vicari added.
Vicari went on to say that “many of our seasonal restaurants and businesses are closed and do not have the staff or the supplies to cater to this sudden increase in population.”
Even grocery stores do not have the extra stock they would normally have during the summer. The best way to take care of your family is to stay home and do not travel,” Vicari said.
Freeholder Gerry P. Little, liaison to the Ocean County Health Department, agreed and asked everyone to obey restrictions coming from all levels of government.
“To stop the spread of this virus and protect the health and wellbeing of our families and our neighbors we must all adhere to these extraordinary measures,” Little said. “By working together, we can protect all of our residents, especially the elderly and those with underlying health conditions who are most at risk of getting seriously ill.”
Towns with restrictions on beach or boardwalk access include:
- Bay Head: Beaches are closed
- Brick: All beaches and parks are closed.
- Island Heights: The scenic river boardwalk and all other public access areas are closed.
- Lavallette: Beaches and the boardwalk are closed.
- Long Beach Township: Only ocean beaches in the Brant Beach section are open, but for residents’ use only. Residents must have in their possession a township-issued disaster re-entry placard. Beach use is restricted to two adults and their minor children per placard. Beaches can be used for walking and jogging only. Fishing, swimming, surfing and any other activities are prohibited. Beach chairs and blankets are also prohibited. Also, the Holgate parking lot is closed to vehicles.
- Mantoloking: Beaches are closed.
- Point Pleasant Beach: The Boardwalk and beaches are closed. Barriers have been installed at both inlet and Boardwalk parking lots. Jenkinson’s is also closed.
- Seaside Heights: All ocean and bay beaches are closed. The Boardwalk is also closed.
- Seaside Park: The boardwalk is closed. Ocean beaches remain open.
- Ship Bottom: All bay and ocean beaches are closed.
- Toms River Township: Beaches and the boardwalk in the Ortley Beach section of the township are closed.
These towns have placed restrictions or are in the process of placing restrictions on rental properties:
- Brick: Banned all short-term rentals of 30 days of less.
- Bay Head: No rentals on Airbnb or similar online services.
- Beach Haven: All rentals of 21 days or less are banned thru May 1.
- Harvey Cedars: All rentals of 21 days or less are banned thru May 1.
- Lavallette: Has banned renting out homes on Airbnb and other online marketplaces.
- Long Beach Township: All rentals are banned.
- Point Pleasant Borough: Banning all Airbnb and vacation rentals
- Point Pleasant Beach: Local officials are drafting a resolution to place an immediate moratorium on the renting of all vacation homes and properties.
- Seaside Heights: The rental of homes and other residential units within the borough via AirBNB, VRBO and other online marketplaces is hereby prohibited. Also, all accommodations businesses in the Borough of Seaside Heights, including hotels, motels, guest houses, private residences, and lodging properties of any kind shall not accept any new transient guests or seasonal visitors. Reservations for transient rentals during the State of Emergency that had been booked to commence after April 5, are now cancelled or rescheduled. The order does not apply to active duty military personnel, first responders, health care workers or construction workers engaged in public sector projects occurring in Ocean County
F or the latest updates on COVID-19 visit ocean.nj.us.