Friends and visitors,
The July 4th weekend is here and Avalon joins other beach communities with welcoming you to the Jersey Shore. We do so with assurances that you, your family, and your guests will follow social distancing guidelines and wear a mask whenever practical, and possible. I have joined with 15 other mayors in Cape May County to urgently request that all residents and visitors in Cape May County wear face coverings in all public places, other than certain very limited exceptions. Our local mayors are unified, and committed, to this request.
I am asking our younger visitors to recognize that they are in a high-risk group and in no way are immune to coronavirus. To that end, the traditional bar activity that is part of the Avalon summer nightlife is not allowable, and will remain that way for the foreseeable future.
Weeks ago, I signed an executive order that allows for our restaurants, with or without liquor licenses, to offer outside dining. Licensed establishments may offer alcohol to a patron only with food service, on the establishment’s own property. No food service, no drinks are served. And, under the State’s executive order, no patrons are allowed inside any establishment to eat or drink.
The Avalon Police Department has had conversations with establishments where this practice, at times, has not been followed. We are engaging our police officers, and the Cape May County Sheriff’s Department, to help with enforcement. Any patron who has a drink and not seated at a table for food service will be dispersed. Any licensed establishment that violates these executive orders will lose their outdoor dining privileges, and their permit will be revoked.
It’s important to know that a public health emergency exists in New Jersey, and Covid-19 remains at the Jersey Shore. We too look forward to the day when normalcy returns; until it does, these are the rules for which we all have to live by so we do not have regression in our community, and in our state.
Have an enjoyable summer, and please, stay safe.
Martin L. Pagliughi