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Another Shore town considering public drinking to help establishments closed by coronavirus

NJ.com logo NJ.com 6/11/2020 By Chris Franklin, nj.com
a group of people standing on a sidewalk: The City of Cape May will hold a special meeting Thursday. On the agenda are two resolutions to decide if outdoor alcohol consumption should take place in the southern New Jersey shore town. \n\n © Tim Hawk | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com/Tim Hawk | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com/nj.com/TNS The City of Cape May will hold a special meeting Thursday. On the agenda are two resolutions to decide if outdoor alcohol consumption should take place in the southern New Jersey shore town. \n\n

The City of Cape May is set to vote on two coronavirus-related resolutions Thursday that would introduce new regulations for outdoor retail shopping and the temporary, outdoor consumption of alcohol.

In resolutions placed on the city’s website ahead of a special, virtual June 11 Cape May City Council meeting, the five-person body will discuss and vote on measures that will grant temporary outdoor retail plans as well as decide between two outdoor alcohol consumption proposals.

As part of the “Option A,” public alcohol consumption would be allowed between 5 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on the Cape May beach, Promenade, Cape May Mall, as well as streets closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, or those designated as “slow streets.” Alcohol would only be allowed in plastic cups.

“Option B” would also allow drinking on the beach, Promenade, and Mall, as well as Rotary Park and designated streets such as the 400 block of Bank Street, Lafayette Street from Perry to Franklin, and Washington Street from Perry to Washington Commons. Drinking would be allowed between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m., and drinks would be limited to 16-ounces or less in sealed containers. Kegs would not be allowed. The drinks would only be unsealed if drinking in the designated areas.

Both resolutions would take effect immediately and end Nov. 1.

Outdoor alcohol consumption has been approved in other shore towns such as North Wildwood, Wildwood, and Atlantic City. And North Wildwood said late last month it’s working.

On the retail end, council members will vote on a proposal that would allow a special, outdoor shopping time from June 11 to June 14, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., for businesses that were deemed nonessential during the pandemic.

Stores would have to adhere to social distancing guidelines and have hand sanitizer available for customers and employees. Masks and other face coverings would have to be used at all times, the proposals say.

Nonessential businesses were closed in March by Gov. Phil Murphy as a way to curb the spread of the coronavirus. They were allowed to conduct curbside pickup service in May.

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Chris Franklin may be reached at cfranklin@njadvancemedia.com.

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