June 24, 2020
As New Jersey prepares to take another step toward reopening next week, state officials said people can expect to be required to wear face masks at all indoor activities away from their homes.
On July 2, museums, aquariums, libraries, bowling alleys, batting cages, shooting ranges, and arcades along the Jersey Shore boardwalks can all resume operations at 25% capacity, Gov. Phil Murphy said Wednesday.
Face coverings will be mandatory at each. Those who don’t wear them will be refused service and not allowed inside, Murphy said. The only time a face mask can be removed indoors is while eating and drinking at a restaurant dining table, for religious purposes, or personal health reasons.
Operators of indoor activities will be required to follow stricter health and safety guidelines than are in place for outdoor activities because of the the greater risk of COVID-19 transmission. Those will include heightened disinfection standards and more stringent social distancing protocols.
Personal care businesses that require the removal of a face covering, such as facials, can resume on July 2 too.
New Jersey gyms and fitness centers cannot fully reopen on July 2, but on that date they will be permitted to conduct individual training sessions by appointment-only. Such workouts must be conducted in separate rooms or with a physical barrier in place.
Movie theaters, performing arts centers, clubs, concert venues, and indoor amusement and water parks cannot reopen yet.
Murphy urged residents to be extra careful about the coronavirus while indoors.
“We’re far from defeating COVID-19. We’re in a good place to contain it, but it is not defeated,” Murphy said. “There is no vaccine and there is no proven therapy. There is only social distancing and wearing your face covering.”
New Jersey continues to ease COVID-19 restrictions as the state moves forward with its three-step reopening plan amid the pandemic.
Shopping malls can reopen Monday, June 29, but food courts and seating areas must remain closed. Limited instruction at colleges and universities across New Jersey can restart July 1. Indoor dining can resume, and casinos, racetracks, playgrounds, and outdoor amusement and water parks can reopen on July 2. Youth day camps are set to resume on July 6.
The limit on outdoor gatherings is 250 people, and there are no capacity restrictions for religious or political activities that take place outdoors. The capacity limit for outdoor gatherings is expected to increase to 500 people by July 4.
The limit on indoor gatherings is 100 people or 25% capacity — whichever number is lower.
When New Jersey enters Stage 3, most activities and businesses will be allowed to resume with safety measures in place.