TRENTON, NJ -- Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Twitter Wednesday morning that he intends to sign an executive order to reopen New Jersey’s state parks and allow golf courses and county parks to reopen

The order will take effect at sunrise on Saturday, May 2nd. Social distancing will continue to be mandated, however.

Gov. Murphy has come under criticism from many New Jersey residents for closing parks, where people could go on hikes or walks to exercise and get out of their homes to get fresh air. However, he said the pressure did not impact his decision. Rather, he said he deferred to the recommendations of advisers, such as NJ State Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli.

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"This will bring this in line probably with other states," Gov. Murphy said during his daily press conference.

"We want you to stay close to home. If you go to a park, stay nearby," Gov. Murphy said. "Our reopening comes with a strong recommendation to wear facial covering and practice social distancing. I am reserving the right to mandate that... These are the only tools we have. These choices save lives."

"For running, fishing, boating, and hiking... our state parks will be open once again," Gov. Murphy added. “Please enjoy the parks this weekend, but stay away from each other. Do not congregate. Wear a face covering. Be responsible.”

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