Has anyone gone to the beach during Covid? I can’t find much info online re: capacity/amenities/swimming/restrictions. Can we arrive at 10am (on a weekday or a weekend) and still get on the beach? And swim?
We just drove to a state park (Lake Hopatcong) only to find out that they stopped letting people in at 9am, and don’t allow any entries after that for the remainder of the day, even if people leave. I don’t want to have the same experience at the beach.
I think it really depends on how each local town handles things, but in general, plan on going as early as possible to assure you’ll be able to get on. In long branch, at a certain point (which has been around mid morning on weekends), they’ve stopped selling daily badges and stopped letting people on unless you have a seasonal badge. They say they’ll let people on again at some later time but who knows when that would be. I’ve seen a lot of really disappointed people who are turned away, some with kids and a ton of stuff, some who came from far away I’m sure. That’s 2020 for you.
I’ve seen no COVID related swimming restrictions.
We tried Sea Bright last Sunday and got there a bit after 11. Plenty of daily badges available, but no parking, so we drove up to Sandy Hook. Super long line of cars to get in, and the first several lots were full, but a lot of spaces left in further lots (we got Lot E). There was a restroom and food trucks and we were able to spend the rest of the day at the beach.Next time we'll probably just go straight to Sandy Hook as it seems like there's not a huge problem with capacity, as long as you don't mind the wait to get in. You can probably beat that by going early. We also noticed that by the afternoon people were leaving, so if you wanted a half day without going early that would probably work too. I'd guess weekday it's even easier.As far as what the beach was like.... uh, if we're still at a low rate of infections come September I'll be surprised. Inconsistent mask usage, even in the restrooms, and people much closer together both on the beach and swimming than I was comfortable with. We set up well away from the water to give ourselves space (but move closer as it cleared out in the afternoon). In the swimming area kept our distance too, though with all the wind and ocean water spraying I'd guess the risk of infection, short of someone directly sneezing on you, is low (caveat of course that I'm not an immunologist, or even a scientist).
I was at Asbury Park one day - it wasn't a good beach day - due to weather. They have a limited supply of badges and mentioned that you're able to purchase beach badges the day before via the viply app. I think they said it starts at 6:30pm:
Just try to research your beach before you go.
We went once to Seven Presidents in the end of June. We got there at 8am. It was fine then, but started getting crowded by 10:30 and very few people were practicing social distancing and wearing masks. My main concern was the bathroom. It was fine for me and my son, but my wife and daughter had to wait on a line and there wasn't much social distancing or wearing of masks.
We have done Sandy Hook and Ocean Grove, using Viply for Ocean Grove. Sandy Hook we arrived by 9 am and left by noon on a Sunday. By that time it was getting busier then what we were comfortable with.
Ocean Grove we stayed until 2 on a Tuesday after arriving by 9, much less busy since it was a weekday. Then had a late lunch outside at Porta in Asbury Park. Maybe only half the outdoor tables were full on that day.
But as the beaches are close enough, we felt we were able to enjoy the outdoors in the time allocated.
In July, Surf City on LBI was pretty good. They were selling daily badges and parking is no problem. There was plenty of space between beachgoers and there was room in the water to keep your distance.
There are no public restrooms on the beach. We usually duck into the 5&10 on the main drag and buy a candy bar or bottled water or summat else as fair trade for toilet privilege. About a 90 minute drive without traffic.
i think its Avon where you can by passes online before you go....may be some other beaches as well.....have to get online around 7am to get the badge,
We went to Sandy Hook at 4pm on a weekday and brought dinner with us. Plenty of parking, and was comfortable distancing from others on the beach and in the water. I think the lifeguards leave at 6pm, but you can stay on the beach after they leave. It's light until around 8.
We’ve had good experiences at Ocean Grove. Have gone about once a week since the end of June and haven’t had any problems with it being too crowded or not being allowed on the beach. But then again, we only go on a weekday. You buy passes through a phone app called VIPLY, and you can purchase them the night before, so you know you have a pass before you leave your home. They limit the amount of passes they sell, and they do sell out sometimes.
I've been to IBSP a few times. During the week, it's not too bad but on weekends, you have to get there by 8:30 to get in. They've cut down the number of cars they'll let in and roped off much of the parking areas. This past Sunday, we didn't get there in time so turned around and went to Seaside Park, the next town up, where day badges were $10 (it was about 9:15am) and there was plenty of socially distanced space on the beach. I was impressed with how Covid compliant folks were. The beach at Seaside Park is probably a mile long, maybe more, so there was plenty of room to spread out. I missed the concession, bathrooms and showers at IBSP but all in all, a splendid time was had by all.
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