NJ governor lifts stay-at-home order; Increases limit on indoor, outdoor gatherings

WILDWOOD, NJ - MAY 24: A sign placed on the boardwalk states "MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCE" on May 24, 2020 in Wildwood, New Jersey. Governor Phil Murphy designated the state beaches open with restrictions during the Memorial Day weekend due to the coron

Gov. Phil Murphy announced Tuesday that he was signing an executive order lifting the stay-at-home order in New Jersey which had been in effect since late March as the coronavirus pandemic began to ravage the region.

"Today I'm signing an Executive Order LIFTING OUR STAY-AT-HOME ORDER. Please continue to be responsible and safe. Wear face coverings and keep a social distance from others when out in public."

Murphy had taken heat for attending a rally and vigil over the weekend as part of the worldwide police brutality protests because of the state's coronavirus directives. In response, Murphy said that the two rallies were the first public events he'd attended since he underwent surgery to remove a tumor on his kidney in early March. 

During his daily briefing, the governor also announced that effective immediately indoor gatherings would be permitted at whichever number is lower – 25% of a building’s capacity or 50 people total. Limit on outdoor gatherings would be raised to 100 people.

"We can take these steps today because of the data and the prevailing science. The data tells us that the time can be now. The science tells us that outdoor activities are far safer than indoor activities. We will continue to base our decisions squarely on facts and data," said Murphy.

The lifting of other restrictions was anticipated in the coming weeks as NJ enters Stage 2 of its recovery plan.  Outdoor dining, nonessential retail stores, and hair salons will be allowed to open on June 15 while salons and barbershops will be allowed to open on Monday, June 22. Gyms and health clubs will be able to open sometime after that.

"I anticipate being able to raise the limit on non-protest & non-religious activities to: 250 people on June 22nd, 500 people on July 3rd. School districts planning graduations should prepare for a 500-person limit to be in place by the time graduations can resume on July 6th," announced Murphy.


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