ASBURY PARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- The joy, the downtime...the beauty of enjoying the Jersey Shore took on added meaning this year for many.
While the COVID pandemic still demands protection like masks and social distancing, we have come to points where we can be together with family and friends.
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Being on the sand means so much for Scharon Archibald-Pryor a frontline worker at North Beth Israel Hospital in Newark.
"I'm really enjoying my time - it's very emotional," she said.
For teacher Alyssa Eckhardt, it's back to school on Tuesday.
"I've been here probably at least 15 times this summer...the weekends are pretty packed," Eckhardt said
Shore towns have had to limit access to their beaches this summer for safety. Now, many towns have extended the summer season to the end of September. This means, in places like Asbury Park Beach, lifeguards will be on duty seven days a week.
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Limited staff means limited beach tags offered per day on the Jersey Shore beach tags app Viply.
"I like doing things on the app. It's easier. You don't have to worry about getting here and missing out," said Westfield resident Kelly Morgan.
"I had my alarm set at 6:30. Bam - went on and got passes immediately," said Newark resident Marla Jackson.
Asbury Park beach manager Joe Bongiovanni says they have prepared to welcome guests through the extended season - with safety in mind.
"Some of the beaches are open only on weekend, and we won't have protections," Bongiovanni says.
If the crowds do drop dramatically, some towns may cut extended summer shorter.
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Jersey Shore beaches to extend season through end of September