Governor Murphy Announces Significant Easing of New Jersey’s COVID-19 Restrictions
Governor Phil Murphy announced today (Monday, May 3) that he anticipates to lift the limit on all outdoor gatherings on May 19.
In addition, the State of New Jersey will also remove the 50% capacity indoor dining limit the same day. Businesses will only be limited by the space available for patrons or parties of patrons to maintain the required social distance of 6 feet.
The easing of restrictions for a variety of activities and higher outdoor capacity limits announced in last week’s conference will be moved up from May 10 to May 7.
NEW: I’m moving up the effective date of the reopening steps we announced last Monday from May 10th to May 7th.— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) May 3, 2021
We feel confident in moving up this timetable given the accelerated progress we’re seeing in our vaccination program, hospital metrics, and daily case counts. pic.twitter.com/i8Wf4XfYwV
“With our COVID-19 numbers, particularly hospitalizations, trending decisively in the right direction and our vaccination goals within reach, now is the time to take major steps to reopen our economy and loosen both indoor and outdoor gathering and capacity restrictions,” said Governor Murphy. “We’ve done this the right way, in partnership with our neighboring states of New York and Connecticut, and by allowing data, science, and public health to guide our decision-making. Over these next few weeks, I encourage all remaining eligible New Jerseyans to get vaccinated so we can continue fighting back against this virus and move toward a ‘new normal’ for ourselves, our neighbors, and our loved ones.”
These are the most aggressive steps Murphy has taken to reopen the state since shutdown in March of 2020.
New Jersey Announced Today:
- Outdoor gatherings limit – The limit will increase to 500 persons, up from 200.
- Large venue outdoor capacity – The maximum capacity allowed will increase to 50% for venues with 1,000 fixed seats or more, as long as six feet of distance is maintained, up from 30% capacity for venues with a 2,500 fixed seating capacity.
- Increase in maximum capacity for certain indoor activities – Currently, indoor catered events are limited to 35% of the capacity of the room in which they are held, up to 150 persons. The capacity limit for those events, including proms, will be raised to 50%, up to a maximum of 250 individuals. The capacity limit for indoor political events, weddings, funerals, memorial services, and performances will also increase accordingly.
- Dance floors at private catered events – Dance floors would be permitted to open at such events, with masking and social distancing requirements in place. Dance floors would remain closed at bars and other related businesses, such as nightclubs.
- Permit carnivals and fairs to operate at the amusement business capacity – Currently, these events may be treated like a gathering, and thus subject to more restrictive limits. Carnivals and fairs may now operate at the same capacity as large outdoor amusements.
- Bar seating– The prohibition on indoor bar seating will be lifted, with final guidance on necessary safeguards, such as spacing and the use of plexiglass, to follow from the New Jersey Department of Health.
- Buffets – The restriction on self-service food, like buffets, at restaurants, would be lifted, but individuals will still be required to remain seated while eating and drinking.
Click here for additional updates from the State of New Jersey on COVID-19.