BELMAR, NJ — A growing influx of visitors to Belmar’s beachfront has prompted the borough to close its boardwalk and ban parking on the east side of Ocean Avenue.

The decision announced today by Mayor Mark Walsifer was based on hourly monitoring of the boardwalk, which showed a daily increase of visitors, as nearby shore towns closed their boardwalks in response to the coronavirus outbreak. These include Asbury Park, Spring Lake, Sea Girt and Bradley Beach, which will close its boards tonight. 

 “As the holidays approach and the weather gets warmer, we are likely to see an even greater number of visitors,” he said. “Our concerns are for the public safety, and health and well-being of our residents in these trying times.”

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“Due to these observations and concerns, we have collectively made the decision to close Belmar's boardwalk until further notice,” Walsifer said, referring to the ongoing efforts by the Belmar Police Department and Office of Emergency Management to monitor the situation along its 1.3-mile beachfront.

The beach will be open for now, he said, “to give our residents a place to be outside and get some fresh air. However, it will be monitored to ensure beachgoers adhere to social distancing guidelines.

The beach can be accessed at First, Third, 11th and 20th Avenues, and North Boulevard on the Spring Lake border.