Coronavirus News: Nonessential retail stores reopen in NJ - with restrictions

RUMSON, New Jersey (WABC) -- Monday marked a big turning point in the plan to slowly reopen New Jersey.

Nonessential retail stores are now reopened for curbside pickup, if they follow certain requirements.

Employees reported to Westfield Garden State Plaza to begin to prepare for curbside customers. They will begin allowing people to drive into the mall parking lot to pickup their orders on Thursday at 11 a.m.

As other store owners come out of hibernation, the goal is to figure out how to keep the lights on while keeping customers on the curb.

Hoboken officials are trying to help. A new ordinance was introduced to allow stores to move their merchandise out onto the sidewalks and would also allow restaurants to expand outdoor seeing onto closed streets.

Nonessential construction also restarted on Monday.

This comes as chartered boat services resumed in the state on Sunday.

It has been a waiting game for Mathew Foley.

Foley is the assistant manager at Oceanic Marina in Rumson and has made sure the boats are ready. Then, he got the news that fishing charters and boat rentals are now open for business.

"We are a full-service marina and have yearly contracts. We have a waiting list for our slips, but lost $100,000 not being able to run boats," he said.

Foley says he did not think they would open for another month.

"Just kinda dropped it last minute - I kinda dropped it on us. Phone is ringing off the hook - just trying to make up for lost time," he added.

With strict social distancing rules to be followed, thousands flocked to the sand and water, and with the Jersey beaches opening for Memorial Day Weekend, many are securing their passes.

It has no doubt been a tough ride with weeks of a Stay at Home order, and the isolation.

While Governor Murphy reports the numbers of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and ventilator use is down, but he says reopening the state will take phases.

"If you make the decision based on science and data, outdoor stuff is easier for us to play steps on that indoor with no ventilation, sitting at a table. So doing this in a logical order is the game plan," said Governor Murphy.

The governor says as they work toward reopening certain businesses, this pandemic has put a big dent in the state's economy, and he is urging Congress to provide more financial relief.

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