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N.J. Amusement Rides, Water Parks Allowed to Reopen July 2, Murphy Announces

A group of riders enjoy HYDRUS on its first day in operation. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

A group of riders enjoy HYDRUS on its first day in operation. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced Tuesday that amusement rides will be allowed to reopen July 2, with sanitizing techniques and social distancing measures in effect.

The governor said more details would be released later this week, but the news spells a major victory for Jersey Shore boardwalks preparing for what is expected to be a busy July 4 weekend ahead. In his daily press briefing, Murphy on Tuesday said ride operators would be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity, but must enforce social distancing measures in lines that form to wait to get on the rides. Masks will be required by employees and customers “where they are practicable,” he said.

“With next week’s July 4 holiday weekend rapidly approaching, and with families rightfully looking for ways to enjoy their time off together, we wanted to make it known that, yes, the rides will be in operation,” Murphy said.

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The governor did not announce the reopening of other boardwalk attractions, such as arcades, but hinted that an announcement would be coming on Wednesday. As with most of the state’s recent reopening announcements, details from state administrative agencies generally follow the governor’s broad announcement.

“We know everyone is anxious to come play and to also know what the safety guidelines and restrictions will be when you come to visit,” said Casino Pier, in Seaside Heights, via social media on Tuesday. “Right now we do not know what the procedures are going to be until the guidance from the Governor’s office comes out. Until we hear back from Governor Murphy’s office we do not know exactly what our operating procedures will be. Please be patient and as soon as we know the guidelines we will present them all to you right away!

The ride reopening measure also includes outdoor water parks.

In Ocean County shore area, Seaside Heights, Point Pleasant Beach and Beach Haven host amusement rides. Six Flags Great Adventure operates in Jackson Township.

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