LONG BEACH ISLAND – We’re not quite there yet, but local businesses are welcoming the easing of restrictions to help summer get underway.
Gov. Phil Murphy announced recently that the stay at home orders were lifted; more people will be allowed at outside gatherings; and that the capacity for indoor events has increased. The new headcount is whichever is less: 25 percent of the building’s capacity or 50 people. Face coverings and social distancing of 6 feet is still required.
Starting June 15, restaurants will have the option of providing outside dining. Lori Pepenella, chief executive officer of the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce, recommended calling restaurants to see if reservations are needed.
Checking out a restaurant’s social media page or website might be a good idea as well, since there might be new hours, new menu items, and even new procedures for safety.
As New Jersey schools are having their final weeks, there will be more opportunities for families to visit the shore.
A list of all the places that are opening and reopening is at visitLBiregion.com, or on their social accounts by using their Fanfare and Now Serving programs.
On June 15, New Jersey will reach Phase Two of its recovery. That will allow non-essential retail to open their doors to people up to 50 percent of their capacity.
On June 22, barber shops, salons, and spas will open. Pools can also open on that date.
Outside events have a larger capacity available because it has been shown that the virus isn’t as easily contracted outdoors. By July 3, it is expected that events of 500 or more people will be allowed. Therefore, hotel and motel bookings “are catching up with the season,” Pepenella said.
The state has also released regulations on summer camps, so officials are urging people to research the ones that are still open.
For more information, visit the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center’s Information Window at 265 W Ninth Street in Ship Bottom (opening June 15), go to visitLBiregion.com, call 609-494-7211, or email at email@example.com if you prefer free porch pick up of welcome material and vacation kits. Listen to their weekly radio show each Monday at 9am on WBNJ 91.9 FM or connect through Facebook and Instagram as @LBIregion and @SouthernOceanChamber