On Saturday, Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 146, which allows charter fishing services and for-hire vessel activities, as well as watercraft rental businesses, to open with required social distancing measures. These businesses can open on Sunday, May 17 at 6 am.
“Reopening charter fishing services and watercraft rental businesses restores an extremely important component of our Shore economy.” said Governor Murphy. “The social distancing measures that we are putting in place will ensure that these businesses can sustain themselves while still adhering to public health guidance.”
Charter fishing services and for-hire vessels will be allowed to reopen to the public so long as they adopt policies that include:
- reduced capacity to no more than 10 people on a vessel at any one time;
- electronic or telephone reservation and payment systems;
- no make-up or open boat trips;
- social distancing measures on the vessels and in waiting and boarding areas, including demarcation and signage;
- prohibiting sharing of fishing equipment, bait, and gear;
- limiting the use of nets or gaffs to the crew;
- infection control and hygiene practices;
- providing sanitization materials to passengers and crew;
- frequent sanitization of vessel and high-touch areas;
- The crew and passengers must wear a mask while aboard the vessel;
- prohibiting food and beverage service; and
- briefing all passengers prior to embarking on social distancing, capacity limits, and hygiene requirements.
Watercraft rental businesses will be allowed to reopen so long as they adopt policies consistent with the “curb-side pickup” restrictions that apply to retail establishments pursuant to Executive Order No. 142.