July 05, 2020
Outdoor gatherings of 500 people or less are now allowed to take place across New Jersey as the state continues to move forward with its reopening plans amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The executive order, which was signed by Gov. Phil Murphy and went into effect on Friday ahead of the Fourth of July holiday weekend, states that outdoor political activities or religious services will not have to adhere to any capacity limits.
Indoor gatherings remain capped at either 25% capacity or 100 people—whichever number is lower.
The announcement comes as New Jersey prepares for more activities across the state to resume operations on Monday. Youth summer day camps, graduation ceremonies, and in-person summer education can take place, and NJ Transit’s rail and light rail service will both return to their full weekday schedules.
“Increasing the outdoor capacity limit has been made possible by continued progress against COVID-19,” Murphy said. “The hard work of the residents of our state is allowing us to make this move, and will make it much easier to hold important events like graduation ceremonies in the coming months.”
New Jersey is currently in the second stage of its three-step restart and recovery plan amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Murphy began easing restrictions on outdoor gatherings in May when the capacity limit was raised from 10 to 25 people.
When the state lifted the stay-at-home order last month, Murphy increased the limit on outdoor gatherings from 25 to 100 people. He also permitted indoor gatherings to occur at 25% capacity or 50 people—whichever number was lower.
Two weeks ago, the limit on outdoor gatherings was raised to 250 people. The limit on indoor gatherings was subsequently increased from 50 people to 100 people or 25% capacity—whichever number is lower.
It was expected that the outdoor gatherings limit would be bumped up to 500 people by July 4th to allow for outdoor graduation ceremonies to take place this summer across the state.