What to Know
- On the day Gov. Phil Murphy announced he was lifting the stay-at-home order in place since March, he also said he would sign an executive order raising the limits on both indoor and outdoor gatherings.
- Effective immediately, indoor gatherings are capped at 25 percent of a building's capacity or 50 people total, whichever number is lower, Murphy announced Tuesday. Up to 100 people are now allowed to gather outdoors.
- Social distancing and face coverings are required.
On the day Gov. Phil Murphy announced he was lifting the stay-at-home order in place since March, he also said he would sign an executive order raising the limits on both indoor and outdoor gatherings – additional signs that the state continues making progress in its fight against COVID-19.
The limits of people in outdoor gatherings will be staggered increases.
Effective immediately, indoor gatherings are capped at 25 percent of a building's capacity or 50 people total, whichever number is lower, Murphy announced Tuesday. Up to 100 people are now allowed to gather outdoors. Social distancing and face coverings are required.
“All attendees of indoor gatherings must wear face coverings and stay 6 feet apart – and, yes, this order will allow for greater indoor religious services. We’ve not only heard from our partners in our faith communities, but we have worked closely with many of them and we believe this represents a responsible plan that ensures that religious services will be appropriately distanced and as safe as possible,” Murphy said.
Although he said that this executive order allows for greater indoor services, Murphy said he fully appreciated “that there are faith leaders who do not yet feel comfortable reopening their sanctuaries at this time. There is no requirement that they do so. No one should reopen unless and until they feel fully confident in their ability to do so.”
Murphy also said Tuesday he expects to be able to raise the limit on non-protest and non-religious activities to 250 people on June 22 and to 500 people on July 3.
“There will now be an exception explicitly allowing outdoor gatherings of more than 100 persons for First Amendment-protected outdoor activities, such as political protests of any persuasion or outdoor religious services,” Murphy said.
The increase in outdoor gatherings to 500 people in July, will take place mere days before socially-distant outdoor graduations in the state are allowed to start taking place.
School districts planning graduations, starting July 6, should prepare for a 500-person limit to be in place by the time graduations are permitted.
However, Murphy stressed that the new orders could change.
“As I’ve noted many times before, should we see any troubling signs in the data indicating a spike in cases or a backslide in our fight against COVID-19, either or both of these steps may not happen,” Murphy said. “Obviously, we hope they do.”
The same order that will authorize the increase of people in outdoor gatherings, will officially include authorizes pools to reopen on June 22 – a measure Murphy initially announced Monday.
Additionally, the executive order will also authorize all outdoor recreational and entertainment businesses to reopen except amusement parks, water parks, and arcades.