Typically, summer on Long Beach Island is when visitors from all over the state and country flock to the beaches to soak up rays and engage in various activities. However, the summer of 2020 is far different from those of years past, thanks to the corona-virus pandemic.
While there are more restrictions in place and there is still danger in the air, Long Beach Island isn’t full of doom and gloom. As lockdowns and stay-at-home orders begin to lift, more and more activities are opening up on the Jersey Shore.
It’s crucial to stay up-to-date on local regulations and warnings since the situation has the potential to change frequently. You can check the CDC and local government sites for updates and changes in the coming weeks and months. An excellent resource is the Southern Ocean Chamber of Commerce website, which you can check out here. Here is the current information on what to expect if you plan on visiting LBI beaches this summer.
COVID-19: A Primer
Since it was discovered last year, COVID-19 has quickly spread across the globe. Here is a list of fast facts to keep in mind when making travel plans.
- COVID-19 is a respiratory illness, meaning that it affects your ability to breathe. Other signs and symptoms can include headaches, soreness, a sudden loss of taste or smell and disorientation. However, the most common side effect of the virus is labored breathing.
- There is no treatment or cure for COVID-19. If you do contract it, your body will have to fight it off itself. While the mortality rate for this disease is relatively low (around three percent), it can wreak havoc on your immune system. Many patients wind up on a ventilator for several weeks.
- Transmission happens mostly through air droplets. Individuals pass these droplets by coughing, sneezing or talking. The closer you are to another person, the easier it is for you to breathe them in. So, wearing a mask can help lower transmission rates, since the droplets don’t go out into the air.
- While the virus can survive on surfaces, this type of transmission is rare. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wash your hands or use sanitizer, but masks and social distancing are going to do more to prevent catching the virus.
- For more information, please visit CDC.gov
FAQs Regarding COVID-19 and Long Beach Island
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19 and LBI:
Is it Safe to go to the Beach?
As a rule, the virus transmits easier between individuals when they are indoors. Since the beach is a wide-open space, it’s harder for the virus to pass from one person to another. As long as you maintain distance from others, it should be okay to go to the beach. Since you can’t always control the size of crowds, there is still a risk.
What’s Open on Long Beach Island?
As the state moves through its reopening plan, some businesses are open while others are closed. For example, hotels and restaurants are still receiving customers, although on a limited basis. Most places on LBI are taking extra precautions with cleaning and safety, and many of them, like the Spray Beach Hotel, are going above and beyond.
Many restaurants are allowing dine-in eating, and you can always get delivery or take out if you prefer.
Do I Have to Wear a Mask?
The only mandatory statewide order is that everyone maintains social distancing standards of at least six feet. While masks are not required by the government, it is always good to wear one when around other people. If you can’t social distance, a mask will be your next best line of defense.
Do I Still Need Beach Badges?
Yes, you do. All beaches on Long Beach Island are still selling badges, although the requirements and prices will differ between them. For out-of-towners, beach badges are a unique part of the Jersey Shore experience. All cities and towns on LBI require them as a way to manage the crowds and pay for maintenance and upkeep.
For a full list of badge requirements and pricing, we suggest checking the Southern Ocean Chamber of Commerce website.
Bottom Line: The Jersey Shore is Open, But be Careful
Since the corona-virus threat is still going strong, both residents and visitors need to exercise caution when coming to Long Beach Island. Not only that, but expect to face challenges when you arrive, such as long lines for businesses (due to social distancing) and closed storefronts.
Overall, you can still have fun on LBI, but you need to take extra steps to keep yourself and your family safe. By following these guidelines, we can ensure a smooth reopening and transition to the “new normal.”