BELMAR, NJ — Belmar’s boardwalk will remain open. Just make sure to keep about six feet away from others while walking or running the boards during the coronavirus pandemic.

That’s the message from Mayor Mark Walsifer, who today put the public on alert that noncompliance with social distancing guidelines issued by the state will force him to close the 1.3-mile walk along the beachfront.

“There has been a lot of opinions from our residents whether to close our boardwalk or keep it open,” he said in a March 27 letter posted on the borough’s Facebook page.

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And based on hourly monitoring by the borough’s Office of Emergency Management OEM) and the Belmar Police Department, people congregating without proper social distancing has not been observed, he said.

If the boardwalk were closed, “is it more dangerous for people to walk in the street or wander through our neighborhoods on narrow sidewalks in proximity to residents?” Walsifer asked.

Meanwhile, the OEM and police department will continue to “evaluate the best course of action to protect the populace,” the mayor said, adding that options are being explored for alternative places for residents to walk safely if the decision to close the boardwalk is made.

Earlier on March 27, Asbury Park became the latest shore town in Monmouth County to close its boardwalk in response to the coronavirus outbreak, joining Spring Lake and Sea Girt.

READ MORE: Asbury Park Is Latest Monmouth Shore Town to Close Boardwalk

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