May 01, 2020
New Jersey will begin permitting virtual weddings amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Gov. Phil Murphy said Friday that he would sign an executive order easing the solemnization requirements for marriages, allowing wedding ceremonies to be held using video conferencing.
In-person ceremonies can still continue if social distancing measures are in place, Murphy said. There must be fewer than 10 guests and attendees must wear masks and stay six feet apart. However, wedding venues are considered non-essential businesses and must remain closed.
Murphy also said he'd sign a order relaxing the in-person requirement for minors to obtain working papers. School districts will no longer need to give approval amid the pandemic.
With golf courses and parks set to reopen this weekend, Murphy reminded residents to maintain social distancing recommendations. That includes staying six feet away from other people and wearing a mask.
"I cannot stress enough how important this weekend will be," Murphy said during his daily briefing. "If we see the so-called knucklehead behavior, we will not hesitate to re-close the parks."
Nearly 1 million New Jersey residents have sought unemployment benefits since the COVID-19 crisis began.
State officials are working to address delays that some residents have encountered when seeking benefits, Murphy said. Most people experiencing delays have filed as self-employed under the federal assistance program for coronavirus aid.
"We appreciate your patience and even your frustration," Murphy said. "Even in normal times, it takes three weeks to process a claim."
Murphy announced 2,651 new coronavirus cases on Friday, bringing the state's total to 121,190. There were an additional 311 deaths, bringing the toll to 2,651.
The rate of new infections appears to be dropping.
"The numbers are getting better, but they are not zero," Murphy said.