New Jersey Reopens But Strictly Limits Public Parks and Private Golf Courses

New Jersey had ordered closed private Golf Courses and State Parks and forests to prevent possible spread of COVID-19.  A new executive order, EO -133 issued on April 29, 2020 allowed them to reopen on this coming Saturday.  However, the “re-opening” will be heavily restricted.   There will neither be full access and strict regulations on how “opened” areas may be used.  Private Golf course operators will be legally responsible for enforcing strict rules.

State Park Rules:


I. The open ground of all State Parks and Forests shall be open, but only for the following activities.

  • Fishing;
  •   Hunting;
  •   Boating;
  • Canoeing;
  • Hiking;
  • Walking;
  • Running or jogging;
  • Biking;
  • Birding; and
  • Horseback riding.

II.  The following areas and facilities within the state parks, however, will remain closed:

  • Restrooms
  • Picnic areas;
  • Playgrounds;
  • Exercise stations and equipment;
  • Chartered watercraft services and rentals;
  • Swimming;
  • Pavilions;
  • Other buildings or facilities, including, but not limited to, visitor centers, interpretive centers, and interior historical sites.


III. The following limits on behavior must be followed in state parks:

  • Employees and visitors (overt the age of two)  must wear cloth face coverings within in the state park in all settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health.
  • Parking space will be cut in half.Visitors will be prohibited from parking in undesignated areas, including in roadways;
  • No picnicking shall be allowed. No picnic blankets, chairs, coolers, etc. may be carried into the park;
  • visitors must stay six feet apart whenever practicable, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners;
  • No organized or contact activities or sports; and
  • The parks may not be used for the gatherings of individuals.



  1. The State will no longer close county parks.  Counties which themselves previously closed their parks may chose whether or not  to reopen them.
  2. All recreational campgrounds and transient camp sites at campgrounds must remain closed to the public. Residential campgrounds, which includes mobile home parks, condo sites, and existing/renewing 2020 yearly seasonal contract sites, may remain open.
  3. All Counties and Municipalities must restrict the behavior at and use of their parks with the same rules applicable to state parks. Counties and Municipalities may impose additional COVID-19 restrictions at county and municipal parks.
  4. Counties and Municipalities may also impose additional restrictions on the ability of residential campgrounds, including mobile home parks, to accept new transient guests or seasonal tenants.



Private Golf Clubs may reopen both to their members and the public but must:

  1. Require  that   reservations,   cancellations   and pre-payments be made via electronic or telephone reservation systems. Such policies must, wherever possible, consider populations that do not have access to internet service or credit cards;
  2. Stagger tee times so that they are 16 minutes apart;
  3. Limit use of golf carts to single occupant only, excluding an individual’s immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners
  4. Frequently  sanitize high-touch areas including, at a minimum, the  following  cleaning protocols
      1. Clean and disinfect high-touch areas routinely, and after each use, in accordance with CDC guidelines, including, but not limited to, restroom facilities, counter tops, door knobs, other common surfaces, range buckets, golf carts, push carts, and other frequently touched  surfaces  including  employee  used equipment,  and
      2. Ensure that the golf course has sufficient  workers to perform the cleaning protocols effectively

5. Restrict players’ ability to touch common surfaces when retrieving golf  balls  by  installing  pins, placing cups upside down or partly above ground, or utilizing a shallow cup;

 6. Close all golf center buildings, pro shops,  other buildings and amenities to the public;

7.  Remove bunker rakes and other on-course furniture like benches, water coolers, and ball washers;

8.  Ensure that the flagstick remains in the golf hole at all times, and instruct players to avoid touching the flagstick or hole;

9.   Discontinue club and equipment rentals;

10. Prohibit the use of caddies;

11 .   Limit tee times to two players, except for immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners;

12.  Place additional restrictions   to  limit  person-to-person interactions and  facilitate  appropriate  social distancing, including but not limited to, specific holes, putting greens, FootGolf courses, and short game areas;

13.  Employees, players, and other individuals (over two years old) should wear cloth face coverings in all settings on the golf course where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, except where doing so would inhibit that  individual’s  health;

14. Require players to always maintain appropriate social distancing by remaining six feet apart from others.


Miniature golf courses and driving ranges, as well as other places of public amusement, must remain closed.