HOBOKEN, NJ - The merry-go-round of regulations has parents feeling dizzy, but it looks like Hoboken playgrounds will open this Thursday. This announcement comes two weeks after a unilateral Hoboken plan to reopen playgrounds was halted by the State.
"After Governor Murphy’s office reached out," Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla said on June 16,"the State has respectfully asked us to postpone playground re-openings until the Governor gives the go ahead for this to occur for the entire State."
Murphy has since given the green light to a July 2 opening, which is this Thursday.
"Based on a number of factors including Hoboken’s low rate of infection and the physical and mental health of our children, we are opening up playgrounds beginning this Thursday," said Bhalla on Tuesday. There will be considerable conditions to the reopening, with a heavy emphasis on proactive personal responsibility.
"After hearing feedback from parents, taking into account the safety of our children, and considering guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we are requiring any child over two years of age, as well as any parent accompanying a child, wear a face cover or face mask in a playground area or playground park (with the exception of a medical condition)," said Bhalla. "This is especially important given the significant social distancing challenges on playgrounds."
Hoboken reopened its basketball courts last week, only to call a foul on those failing to adhere to the guidelines and closing them up again after a short period.
"As we mentioned last week, City staff will regularly sanitize park surfaces. We are also suggesting parents bring sanitizer to the park and go to the playground during early morning and off-peak hours," said Bhalla. "Parents and children should limit time to one hour at the playground to help minimize overcrowding."
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