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WILDWOOD - With Memorial Day ushering in the traditional summer opening this weekend, Wildwood officials are calling on businesses to strictly follow the established restrictions regarding retail businesses and hotels.

Non-essential retail businesses are permitted to offer curbside sales, but stores cannot allow inside shopping. With few exceptions, hotels can operate at 60% occupancy May 26 for rentals less than 30 days. Restaurants are still only permitted to offer takeout or curbside delivery.

According to a release, amusements and games of chance are still prohibited.

“With the crowds expected to be in Wildwood this weekend, we can’t lose sight of the continued threats from the pandemic. Despite our anxious frustrations, we have to follow the phase-in approach outlined by health officials to prevent a backslide of the virus. All eyes are on tourism resorts this weekend; I’d like to see Wildwood be a model for long-term recovery with safe crowd behavior and businesses cooperating with the restrictions,” Mayor Pete Byron said.

Public Safety Commissioner Steve Mikulski expressed his department’s concerns for the weekend.

“It is critical that businesses exercise personal responsibility in following the reopening rules. Although our public safety professionals will do everything they can, widespread violations will be difficult to enforce and could likely turnback the reopening phases of businesses. It’s best to be especially vigilant this Memorial Day weekend so we are well-positioned for a more prosperous rest of the summer,” said Mikulski.

Commissioner Krista Fitzsimons also emphasized the impact Memorial Day weekend will have on the remaining summer season.

“This weekend will test our efforts in balancing economic recovery with public health. I certainly understand the pain businesses are feeling and the growing fear of livelihoods being lost, but we have to be diligent in following the reopening restrictions, so we can keep gaining ground in our war against the pandemic."

"As harsh as these restrictions are affecting our businesses this weekend, it would be a far worse nightmare of a summer if we recklessly trigger a fallback to isolations and stay-at-home mandates,” concluded Fitzsimons.

Any person violating the imposed restrictions shall be charged as a disorderly person subject to fines and potential imprisonment.