After a stretch of sunshine and nearly two months of restrictions under the state's first public health emergency, lots of New Jerseyans are hoping for some vitamin "sea."

With COVID-19 still impacting all 21 counties, there have been some positive trends emerging in the daily look at state data on positive cases, and a handful of Jersey Shore towns have announced they are reopening beaches or boardwalks for some passive recreation.

All visitors are strongly urged to continue practicing social distancing, avoid gathering in large groups and are encouraged to wear masks when near others.

Some oceanside communities have tried to limit beach access to property owners and residents, which Gov. Phil Murphy said is illegal. 

At a May 1 briefing, Murphy said “a township cannot actually legally restrict folks from outside of their township,” adding “So that’s not actually within their right to do so.”

The following is a list of the latest updates on beach and boardwalk closures along the Jersey coast.

MIDDLESEX COUNTY

Old Bridge Waterfront Park reopened to the public May 2 for passive recreation with reduced parking and social distancing requirements. All facilities, including restrooms, comfort stations, playgrounds, dog parks, basketball and tennis courts remain closed. Access is at Paul’s Beach, Laurence Harbor and Pirate’s Cove in Cliffwood Beach.

Raritan Bay Waterfront Park reopened to the public May 2 for passive recreation with reduced parking and social distancing requirements.

MONMOUTH COUNTY

Asbury Park: Beaches remain open, though the boardwalk has been closed since March 27. Access to the beach is available at First, Third and Sunset avenues and Deal Lake Drive.

Avon-by-the-Sea: The boardwalk remains closed as of May 1. Violators could face fines and penalties, including potential jail time up to six months, according to an executive order signed by the mayor. The beach can be accessed at East End Avenue and Washington Avenue.

Belmar: Boardwalk remains closed since March 30, but the beach remains open.

Bradley Beach: As of May 3, the promenade and the beach are open for exercise purposes only. Municipal officials said: “Please continue to practice social distancing, as well as other CDC guidelines.”

Deal: The beach remains open.

Keansburg: Beaches reopened May 2, as did Collins Field tennis courts, while playground and public restrooms remain closed. The borough urges visitors to practice social distancing and CDC guidelines.

Long Branch: The beach remains open while the boardwalk promenade and bike paths have been closed since April 2.

Manasquan: The beach remains open while the beach walk, inlet walk and Olivia’s Playground at Sea Watch are closed.

Monmouth Beach: Beaches reopened May 1, with police urging residents and visitors to practice social distancing and other CDC guidelines.

Ocean Grove: The beach and boardwalk remain open, with local officials checking “hourly for compliance” among those outside. “Everyone is encouraged to social distance, wear a mask if coming near others outdoors, and act kindly by giving extra space to others based on their health needs,” according to a May 2 update from the Ocean Grove Meeting Association.

Sandy Hook will reopen Saturday, May 9, along with other areas of the Gateway National Recreation Area for limited "passive recreation" like walking, running, hiking, fishing and kayaking. Parking lots will be open at 50% capacity. Permanent restroom facilities will remain closed; however, portable units will be available for public use. There will be limited garbage services. Facilities that remain closed include Sandy Hook Campground, Sandy Hook Lighthouse, History House, Fort Hancock Museum and Guardian Park Picnic Area.

Sea Bright: The beach remains open with limited parking, as the Ocean Avenue Municipal Parking Lot and the Anchorage Beach Parking Lot are closed.

Sea Girt: As of May 1, beach access is available at the following locations: The Terrace sand walkway, The Pavilion vehicle access, Brooklyn Boulevard Beach, Philadelphia Boulevard Beach and the Trenton Boulevard Beach sand ramp. All additional entrances for beach access are closed.

Spring Lake: The boardwalk remains closed and parking remains temporarily banned, according to the mayor on April 8.

OCEAN COUNTY

Bay Head: Beaches are closed and on-street parking is suspended until further notice for the entire length of East Avenue in Bay Head and Mantoloking. There also is no parking on all side streets in Bay Head East of Route 35. An April 27 update on the Bay Head Police Department Facebook page said: “We will reopen them as soon as we safely can and when Point Beach and Mantoloking open theirs with us.”

Brick: Beaches remain closed since April 7 until further notice.

Lavallette: The borough has reopened the beach but kept its boardwalk closed, as reported by Lavallette-Seaside Ortley Beach Shorebeat.

Mantoloking: Beaches remain closed, in a joint agreement with Point Pleasant Beach and Bay Head, in effect April 3 until further notice.

Ortley Beach (Toms River): Beach and boardwalk remain closed until further notice.

Point Pleasant Beach: The beach and boardwalk remain closed until further notice, under a joint decision with Bay Head and Mantoloking.

Seaside Heights: Beach and boardwalk remain closed as of May 2 until further notice.

Seaside Park: Beaches remain closed as of April 8 until further notice.

Island Beach State Park: The beach is open while restrooms and other facilities remain closed.

LONG BEACH ISLAND

Harvey Cedars, Long Beach Township and Ship Bottom beaches are open to all, after controversy over restricting access to only residents and property owners, as reported by the SandPaper. 

Barnegat Light, Beach Haven and Surf City beaches also remain open, though it was unclear as of May 5 whether any were still trying to enforce a restriction of just residents or property owners.

ATLANTIC COUNTY

Atlantic City: Beaches and boardwalk remain open.

Brigantine: Brigantine Sea Wall, Cove Beach recreation area and North Beach Observation Tower are closed while the remaining beaches are open for public use, following recommended social distancing guidelines.

Longport: Beaches are open for walking, jogging and exercising while following social distancing guidelines is permitted, while sunbathing, sitting in chairs and groups are banned.

Margate City: Beaches are open for walking, jogging and running, as long as social distancing guidelines are followed.

Ventnor City: Beaches were set to reopen May 8 for walking, running or jogging but no swimming, surfing or sunbathing. The Ski Beach boat ramp also reopens May 8 for launching and recovery of watercraft only. The boardwalk remains closed until further notice as “at 14 feet wide, the boardwalk does not fit the guidelines for effective social distancing.”

CAPE MAY COUNTY

Avalon: Beaches will reopen May 8 for walking, running, fishing and surfing from dawn until dusk, as reported by CBS Philly.

City of Cape May: Beaches are opened for walking, jogging, running, fishing and surfing, while the promenade is open for walking and jogging. No public restrooms are open.

Cape May Point: Beaches remain closed until further notice, according to a March 30 update.

Wildwood: the Boardwalk will reopen for walking, running, biking and passive recreation on May 8, as well as beaches, parks and playgrounds, according to a Facebook update from the North Wildwood mayor.

Wildwood Crest: The beach, parks and the bike path reopened to the public, with some restrictions, as of May 2.

Ocean City: Beaches and the boardwalk remained closed as of May 2.

Sea Isle City: Beaches and the promenade remained closed as of May 2.

Stone Harbor: Beaches will reopen May 8 for walking, running, fishing and surfing from dawn until dusk, as reported by CBS Philly.

Upper Township: Beaches remain closed until further notice.

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