Indoor sports allowed to resume in NJ with 10 person limit

All indoor youth and adult recreational sports can resume, again, in New Jersey with restrictions beginning Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021, announced Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday.

Indoor sports had been on 'pause' since December 5 due to rising numbers of coronavirus cases.

"Given the safety protocols we have in place and the stability in our numbers we have over the past months- although stability at an uncomfortably high level- we feel confident we can move forward by continuing to deal with any other outbreaks in an individual case basis as opposed to a blanket prohibition," said Murphy during a virtual briefing on the pandemic.

The indoor limit remains at 10 people.

"If you need more than 10 folks to actually play the game- between the teams, the coach, the referees- you can go above that but only for those individuals. If you are above 10 there can be no spectators," said Murphy.

If the sport requires less than 10 people, fans are allowed with proper social distancing. When indoor sports were initially allowed to resume in October, the capacity limit was 25 percent.

Exceptions to the guidance for indoor sports remain for collegiate and professional teams. Interstate sports will not be allowed.

The governor added that he and health officials considered allowing the pause for another week or so but concluded that an extension would not change the reasoning for ending the pause.

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"Any further continuance of the 'pause' would mean that entire seasons would need to be scrapped entirely. We will continue to closely watch the outbreak data and reserve the right to pull back," said Murphy.

3,727 people were reported hospitalized across New Jersey with COVID-19 on Dec. 29. 701 patients were in critical care.