Cape May, Cape May Point Close Beaches

Cape May, NJ -  It might be a first. Cape May and Cape May Point have shut down their beaches. The dramatic closures are a desperate attempt to stop people from congregating on the sand, potentially spreading the deadly COVID-19 virus.

Several other Jersey shore towns, including Ocean City and Sea Isle City, have also closed both their beaches and their boardwalks. Police have sealed off every beach entrance in Cape May with orange netting and warning signs. Don’t even think about trying to squirm past them. Violators could be charged. The beachfront promenade is also off limits.

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Cape May Point Closings

Cape May Point gated all its beach entrances this week. In addition, the Point closed the large Pavilion Circle in the center of town. The entrance to Cape May Point State Park is blocked with orange traffic cones.

The Point has taken social distancing one step further. The town’s asking visitors who’ve traveled outside the immediate area to quarantine themselves for fourteen days. Many of the year round residents at Cape May Point and in Cape May are senior citizens. The Center for Disease Control says older people are at elevated risk for severe illness from the coronavirus.

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Vacation Rentals on hold

Mayors from the sixteen municipalities in Cape May County this week called for an end to short-term vacation rentals during the pandemic. They made the appeal to realtors, online rental platforms, and individuals. They’re also discouraging non-essential visits by property owners. The mayors asked hotels and motels, if open, to rent rooms only to essential personnel, not tourists.

In a statement the mayors said, “We recognize that individuals love to visit the coastal region, and want to visit their second homes for a change of scenery. That travel is contrary to the executive orders enacted by the Governor, and contrary to the guidance from health officials to stay at home as much as possible.”

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The coastal mayors from Ocean City to Cape May Point warn further restrictions may be enacted if their appeal is ignored.

“We understand these are unconventional requests by elected officials who every day appreciate the visitation and investment in our communities. However, we stand together in support of this position to protect you and your families so we can all enjoy good health when this crisis has passed.”

About Jane Kashlak

Jane Kashlak - a journalist, gardener and Cape Island resident - is writing a book.