NEW JERSEY – Gov. Phil Murphy, speaking during a Thursday news conference, said New Jersey beaches and boardwalks can reopen and he issued guidelines and rules amid the coronavirus outbreak. He said they’ll be open for Memorial Day weekend, making the announcement as he announced 1,216 new coronavirus cases and 244 more deaths. (you can watch it here, below).

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Murphy issued rules and guidelines that allows communities to open beaches “in a way that’s consistent with protecting the public health of every beachgoer.” He said the rules and regulations will be effective Friday, May 22, though beaches can be open before then.

Following Murphy’s announcement, at least three Jersey Shore towns announced increased access to their beaches this week and next:

Here are the rules and guidelines that he issued for any beach, including rivers, lakes and the ocean, which say the state will:

It’s not clear how these rules and guidelines will be enforced or honored, but Cape May County Freeholder Leonard Desiderio said his county plans to have “goodwill ambassadors” on the beaches who will work to make sure people are cooperating.

Desiderio said lifeguards will not be involved in those operations; they’ll be busy watching after swimmers.

Murphy tried to reassure residents that these are the guidelines and rules “for now” and they could change if the state continues to show progress.

“This is not a life sentence here,” he said. “We may have a dramatically different reality a month from now.”

Murphy said he is reviewing pool guidelines and plans to issue an order by Friday. Murphy is also expected to provide more “hard dates” for reopenings amid the coronavirus crisis by Friday. Read more: Gov. Murphy: ‘Hard Dates’ For NJ Coronavirus Reopening

Murphy said New Jersey is taking the reopening steps now that New Jersey is showing significant progress in curbing the coronavirus outbreak.

At the same time, Murphy said, New Jersey is not “out of the woods,” which is why he hasn’t declared a full reopening.

Murphy got the restart process rolling on Wednesday by announcing that he’s reopening non-essential retail stores for curbside pickup, as well as non-essential construction and drive-through operations. Read more: Gov. Phil Murphy To Reopen More NJ Businesses In Coronavirus Crisis

The update comes as cases continues to rise in New Jersey. Read more: NJ Coronavirus Updates: Here’s What You Need To Know

Watch Murphy here:

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