Cape May City Mayor Clarence Lear said the decision was set in motion over the weekend, when the city’s manager spotted surfers in the water and crowds gathering in the pavilion.
“I’m sure it’s never happened before,” Lear, a lifelong Cape May resident, told NJ Advance Media.
Cape May City is the latest municipality in New Jersey to close its beaches or boardwalk — or both — in an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Any violators may be charged with a disorderly persons offense, as stipulated in the city manager’ executive order.
“We were very optimistic that people would hopefully not visit,” Lear said.
The last two weekends, though, still brought in the crowds.
In a separate but related move, the mayors of all 16 municipalities in Cape May County issued a joint statement Monday — also endorsed by the freeholder board — urging the “elimination of all short-rentals” to tourists until Gov. Phil Murphy lifts his executive orders barring public gatherings.
Their statement asks hotels and motels to “rent only to individuals who are performing essential functions.”
Cape May County reported nine confirmed cases on Sunday and Monday, bringing its total to 15. No one has died in Cape May.
Cumberland has had 12 cases and one fatality.
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