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Accommodations get the okay to reopen; non-essential businesses are still closed

Photo credit: Michelle Giorla

We have some news on the accommodations front. 

Cape May County has modified its emergency order that had originally restricted accommodations throughout the county from operating until May 22nd. The revised order lines up with the dates on a 32-page proposed Recovery Initiative the county has submitted to the Governor, and will allow some rental properties to accept guests as early as May 11th. 

Those changes in restrictions have led to a new executive order from the City of Cape May, which will allow the following: 

  • Long-term rentals of 30+ days can start on May 11
  • Short-term rentals (under 30 days) can start June 1
  • Hotels and motels can operate at 60% capacity starting June 1
  • Hotels and motels can operate at full capacity starting June 22

The City’s order came a day after Governor Murphy extended the state’s public health emergency by another 30 days. Due to COVID-19, NJ has been in a state of emergency since March 9, and will remain in one until at least June 5. For everyone’s safety, people are advised to stay home as much as possible, maintain a six-foot distance from other people, and cover your face when you go out. 

This week, we have seen a few changes in restrictions on outdoor spaces. Beginning May 2nd, New Jersey reopened state parks and forests at 50% capacity, and gave the okay for golf courses to reopen if they adopt social distancing policies. Cape May City reopened the beaches and promenade for exercise, though contact activities/sports, picnics, and gatherings are still banned to prevent the virus’s spread. 

In-restaurant dining, non-essential retail, and other businesses classified as non-essential are still closed by NJ Executive Order 107. At this time, we have no idea when they will reopen. But many of Cape May’s restaurants are offering curbside takeout, so if you don’t feel like cooking, we’d encourage you to support them. 

And finally, in today’s COVID-19 briefing, Governor Murphy announced he’ll be signing an executive order to create the Restart and Recovery Advisory Council. The nine committees will begin digital meetings next week. One of them is dedicated to tourism.