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The Governor announced on Tuesday, June 9th, that as numbers of new infections and hospitalizations continue to fall, New Jersey is lifting the stay-at-home order!
The order was put in place nearly three months ago to slow the spread of the coronavirus/COVID-19 as the reopening plan nears Stage 2 with nonessential retail set to allow customers inside stores again next week.
Progress with fewer numbers of newly infected people and deaths in recent weeks is the reason cited for lifting the unprecedented restrictions that had been put in place. Governor Murphy issued the stay-at-home on March 21st.
Along with the lifting of the order, it is urged that everyone continue to act responsibly and safely. It is recommended that when the public does venture out, that face coverings continue to be worn when appropriate and social distancing from others is practiced. It is also recommended that places of business continue to allow employees to work from home, when possible. Proper social distancing measures must be in place if businesses do bring employees back to work places.
Effective immediately, churches, synagogues, mosques and other houses of worship may reopen to indoor services with new capacity limits. Executive Order 152 affects indoor gatherings broadly.
The executive order will now allow people to gather indoors at either 25% of a building’s capacity or 50 people in total — whichever number is lower. People must also wear face coverings and stand six feet apart.
The Governor has also raised the number of those permitted at outdoor gatherings. It is anticipated that outdoor gatherings “on non-protest and non-religious activities” may be able to grow to 250 people on June 22nd and to 500 people on July 3rd. The latter would permit graduation ceremonies.
Overall, the number of new coronavirus/COVID-19 deaths, cases, and hospitalizations are down dramatically since peaking in April. The state is set to enter Stage 2 of its multi-phase opening on June 15th, when restaurants will be allowed to offer outdoor dining and nonessential retail will be permitted to welcome customers back inside their stores, though at half capacity.
Also as part of the Stage 2 reopening plans, nail salons, hair salons, and barbershops will reopen with restrictions on June 22nd. Gyms, libraries, museums and certain government offices are also expected to reopen during Stage 2, though there is no specific timeline set for those establishments, as of yet.
Meanwhile, child daycare centers in New Jersey can reopen June 15th, outdoor, non-contact sports can resume on June 22nd, and youth day camps can operate beginning July 6th, all with restrictions. Live horse racing will be permitted without spectators in attendance, as early as this weekend.
It’s truly great news that Stage 2 is on the way. It’s important to remind the public that social distancing, hand hygiene, enhanced disinfection and the use of masks when appropriate, must continue to be diligently be practiced.
Those seeking the exact details of what is permitted should refer to the applicable Executive Orders.