June 18, 2020
Indoor retail shopping malls have been given the green light to resume operations across New Jersey on June 29, Gov. Phil Murphy said Thursday.
However, several health and safety protocols will be in place in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 across the state. Face coverings must be worn, stores must limit capacity to 50%, and mall goers must practice social distancing.
Restaurants may provide takeout and outdoor dining, but food courts must remain closed. Movie theaters and arcades, as well as common seating areas, are not permitted to reopen yet either.
“Malls are part of New Jersey culture and lure,” Murphy said. “We want these businesses to get back up and running responsibly and safely. If you head out to the mall, please comply with the requirements in place.”
New Jersey reported an additional 442 positive coronavirus cases on Thursday, bringing the statewide total number of cases up to 168,107. The state recorded 38 new deaths due to COVID-19, increasing the statewide death toll due to the virus to 12,800.
South Jersey has had 21,207 confirmed coronavirus cases and 1,382 deaths due to COVID-19.
All malls across the state have been shut down since March 17 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Restaurants located in malls have been allowed to remain open for takeout and delivery.
As the state has moved into the second phase of its three-step reopening plan amid the COVID-19 crisis, more restrictions have been eased.
Outdoor dining and nonessential in-person retail resumed this past Monday. Personal care businesses, such as hair and nail salons, and swimming pools can reopen this coming Monday.
The state’s stay-at-home order was lifted earlier this month, and limits on outdoor and indoor gatherings have also been relaxed.
Outdoor gatherings of up to 100 people are now permitted, and only First Amendment-protected outdoor activities—such as political protests and outdoor religious services—can take place with more than 100 people.
Indoor gatherings such as religious services at either 25% of the building’s capacity or 50 people total—whichever number is lower—can take place.