- Associated Press - Saturday, May 16, 2020

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Fishing charters and other chartered boat services and watercraft rentals have been cleared to resume at the New Jersey shore beginning Sunday amid easing of coronavirus restrictions.

Gov. Phil Murphy said Saturday that specific social distancing and sanitation measures will be required, including phone and online payments to lessen person-to-person contact. All passenger and customer logs must be maintained for the purpose of contact training should that be required, Murphy said.

“Even with social distancing, we are confident that everyone can have a safe and memorable summer,” the governor said.

Murphy said easing of some restrictions would be allowed by an improving health situation, especially in hospitals, where the impact of COVID19 could best be tracked.

“Across the board, every metric we have followed is showing us that we can move forward,” he said, citing improvement in new hospitalizations, the number of patients in hospitals, patients in intensive care units and those on ventilators.



The governor also announced another 115 deaths, bringing the statewide total to 10,249 associated with the coronavirus. The number of confirmed cases in the state now topped 145,000, officials said.

Murphy also expressed gratitude to the Trump administration for $1.4 billion in federal aid for emergency funding for New Jersey transit, calling it “absolutely necessary and certainly welcomed.” He said NJ Transit will need more money to make up for fare losses over the last few months during the emergency.

Murphy, a Democrat, said he had spoken with the president Friday and the two had found “a very significant amount of common ground during this crisis.”

“Obviously we are from different parties, different perspectives; I think it’s fairly obvious to say that we’re going to have some disagreements on other stuff, but we’ve found an unusual amount of common ground,” he said, citing the transit funding as well as earlier dealings with the administration on ventilators, beds, testing, and supplies.

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