People take to the shore as beaches open for Memorial Day weekend, with restrictions

KYW Staff
May 24, 2020 - 1:52 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Officials asked Pennsylvania residents not to go down the shore this Memorial Day Weekend, but many people did anyway, as beaches opened for the unofficial start of summer with many restrictions in place.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy was asked on CNN's "State on the Union" Sunday morning if he thinks people are following his guidelines.

"I say it's too early to tell not only because it's Sunday and we're in the middle of the weekend, but the weather has not cooperated," he answered. "It was miserable yesterday, it's cold today."

Murphy said he is heading down the shore himself to see firsthand if people are complying, but he's confident beachgoers will do their part.

"For the most part, folks have been extraordinary in doing the right thing in the state now going 2 1/2-plus months and I fully expect that will continue on the beaches even when Mother Nature begins to cooperate with good weather," he said.

Towns down the shore are doing what they can to make sure people stay safe. Sea Isle City Mayor Lenny Desiderio told NBC 10 they're constantly reminding people what they should be doing.

"The PA system will be announcing social distancing," he said. "There are signs. We're going to have banner planes in Sea Isle City to remind people of the rules, social distancing, stay six feet apart, wear your mask."

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Ocean City has a very different look and feel to start the summer season.

Getting out on the beach has been a relief for some people, but the experience on the boardwalk is not the same.

The amusement rides aren't moving, arcades are closed, and the stores that are able to open are helping customers at the front, not inside. 

"Everyone's doing, like, a good job with the whole distance, like, being able to still eat here and shop a little bit," said one beachgoer.

Business is slow, but workers hope it will improve as the weather gets nicer.

Officials reported 1,065 new positive cases of COVID-19 Sunday, pushing the state's total to 154,154.

52 additional deaths were also announced, raising New Jersey's coronavirus death toll to 11,133.

KYW Newsradio's Andrew Kramer and Andre Bennett, and NBC 10's Drew Smith, contributed to this report.