Cape May restaurants can reopen for outdoor dining this week as part of New Jersey’s state-wide reopening plan. For everyone’s comfort and safety, tables are to be spaced at least six feet apart in any direction, and smoking is prohibited in outdoor dining spaces. If you’re going inside a restaurant for takeout, you’ll need to mask up.
The New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control is temporarily permitting liquor license holders to extend their licensed premises to include outdoor spaces. In some cases, they might need a $75 COVID-19 Expansion Permit — download the special ruling (PDF) for full info.
And speaking of alcohol, Cape May has temporarily permitted the public consumption of alcoholic beverages on the beach, promenade, Rotary Park, the Washington Street Mall, and sidewalks on these streets:
- Lafayette from Perry to Franklin
- 400 block of Bank Street
- 400 block of Elmira Street
- Perry to Beach (starting at Lafayette)
- Jackson to Beach (starting at Lafayette)
- Decatur to Beach (starting at Lafayette)
- Ocean to Beach (starting at Lafayette)
- Washington Street (Perry to Jefferson)
- Carpenters Lane (Perry to Ocean)
- Lyle Lane (Perry to Ocean)
- Howard from Columbia to Beach
- 1300 block of Texas Avenue
- Beach Avenue from Patterson to Pittsburgh
But before you daydream of pina coladas on the beach, let’s talk about restrictions: Open public consumption is only legal from 5pm to 10pm. The resolution states that containers must be plastic (we don’t know about cans) and can’t exceed 16 ounces. Kegs and coolers containing alcoholic beverages aren’t allowed; it’s one drink per person. And if you plan to drink in public, keep your ID on you. The resolution is set to expire on November 1st.
Indoor shopping is also back statewide—mostly. Enclosed shopping malls are still closed, but stores with individual entrances can open them to customers. Wear a mask in stores and keep a six-foot distance from other shoppers. Employees will be wearing masks.
Speaking of masks, Cape May County has launched a #safelytogether campaign to normalize wearing them in the summer. Want to share the message? You can download posters, emojis, and animated gifs from their website.
We’re one day into Stage Two of a phased reopening plan for the state. Here’s what Stage Two involves (from https://covid19.nj.gov):
- June 15: Child care centers reopen their doors to all clients.
- June 15: Outdoor dining reopens.
- June 15: Non-essential retail stores reopen for indoor shopping.
- June 15: Motor Vehicle Commission agencies reopen for pick-up and drop-off services.
- June 15: Libraries reopen for curbside pickup.
- June 22: Organized sports activities resume.
- June 22: Personal care businesses, including barber shops and hair salons, reopen.
- June 22: Swimming pools reopen.
- June 22: Limit on outdoor gatherings increases to 250 people (anticipated).
- June 29: Motor Vehicle Commission agencies begin to offer behind-the-wheel road tests and resume issuing new licenses and permits.
- July 3: Limit on outdoor gatherings increases to 500 people (anticipated).
- July 6: Youth day camps and summer programs can operate.
- July 6: Modified outdoor graduation ceremonies begin.
Stage Three will allow for expanded dining, limited entertainment, and the reopening of bars with limited capacity. When we reach Stage Three will depend on improvements to public health. Right now, no date is set.
Cape May hotels and rental properties were allowed to reopen at the end of May. They had been closed at the county and city levels, not by the state.