Murphy: Despite Jersey City’s plans, no soft openings in store for county & state parks

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Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said that despite Jersey City’s plans to begin a soft reopening of certain parks next week, no similar soft openings are in store on the county and state level.

“Mayor Fulop is doing a great job … but there’s only one set of executive orders that bind and matter and those are the ones that come from us: state parks, county parks, golf [will remain closed],” the governor said at his daily press briefing from Trenton.

“All those are the ones that come up most often and we get it, we understand that folks want to get outside and get fresh air: we just cannot allow folks to congregate. When we think we can either responsible tweak or reverse those decisions, we will, but that’s a decision that I make, along with Matt [Platkin] and others.”

Fulop announced this morning that Enos Jones Park, Berry Lane Park, Audubon Park, Leonard Gordon Park, and Pershing Field, will reopen with restrictions on Monday, as HCV first reported.

Those restrictions include requiring face masks, along with one Division of Parks and Forestry employee and one Recreation Division employee supervising. The Jersey City Police Department will also add patrols to the reopened locations.

In a Facebook Live video from the steps of City Hall this afternoon, the mayor explained his decision.

“People are not gonna stay in their homes indefinitely without anywhere to go and it’s better to have a controlled environment where they can safely go somewhere than to have an uncontrolled environment where you’re just thinking or praying that people stay inside their homes and don’t venture out when the reality is – that’s not gonna happen.”

On April 7th, Murphy signed an executive order closing all state and county parks until further notice and hasn’t wavered following criticism from both Republican and Democratic elected officials.