Point Pleasant Beach will open its boardwalk and northern beach on Friday with ambassadors to encourage social distancing, according to Mayor Paul M. Kanitra.

The boardwalk and beach were shut in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus by keeping out-of-towners from flocking to shore areas, where hospitals had not been as equipped to handle a large outbreak.

Municipalities began opening their beaches in the weeks leading up to Memorial Day.

Kanitra had told News 12 New Jersey that he kept the boardwalk closed during Memorial Day weekend because of what he said was a lack of police and the boardwalk being too narrow to accommodate social distancing.

The mayor wrote on the borough website that he reconsidered after touring he boardwalk with the police chief, borough administer, the head of the public works department and business owners.

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Businesses along the boardwalk will have social ambassadors out front and hand sanitizer stations will be placed at every beach entrance.

Barriers creating corridors on the boardwalk will be removed.

The number of police available for boardwalk and beach patrol will be at full seasonal capacity "within a few weeks," according to Kanitra.

Parking, which has been limited to residents, will be partially rolled back to allow for private and public lots to be opened on Friday. The restriction will be lifted Friday, June 5.

Matrell's Tiki Bar will open for take-out on Friday according to the restaurant's Facebook page.  Only beachgoers or paying customers will be allowed to use the restrooms.

Jenkinson's, which owns and operates many of the businesses on the Point Pleasant Beach boardwalk will open what it can on Friday.

“The Aquarium, rides, games of chance, arcades, miniature golf, things like that still fall under what’s restricted in the state of New Jersey so that would have to wait for the governor,” Jenkinson’s spokeswoman Toby Wolf told New Jersey 101.5, adding that the beach, batting cages and food establishments will be open.

“We have been preparing for the past two months to open. It would be a matter of just getting staff in and scheduled to operate things. You would hope we’d be able to make that happen in a matter of days,” Wolf said.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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