Speaking during his Monday briefing on the coronavirus pandemic as well as the nationwide protests, Murphy said the state would begin entering Stage 2 of its recovery plan, which allows for the openings with restrictions, in two weeks if current trends in the outbreak hold.
"We will not flick a switch," Murphy said. "This will continue to be a phased-in restart, with public health as our top priority."
The governor said that outdoor dining at restaurants and nonessential in-person retail can begin on Monday, June 15. Then salons and barbershops can open on Monday, June 22. Gyms and health clubs will be able to open sometime after that.
"Social distancing will continue to be the watchwords of the day. This virus is among us, Murphy said. "Saving lives is still priority No. 1. We cannot move forward blind to the reality around us."
Murphy said the state had received 509 new positive coronavirus test results, bringing the statewide total to 160,918 as of Monday. Another 27 deaths were reported, bringing the statewide death toll from COVID-19-related causes to 11,721.
New Jersey remains in Stage 1 which limits restaurants and nonessential retail stores to curbside pickup and delivery.
Last week, the governor announced that beginning June 15, childcare services could resume operation in the Garden State. Non-contact, organized sports could resume outdoors beginning on June 22. And youth day-camps and municipal summer recreation programs could begin July 6.
The state's coronavirus outbreak trends are heading in the right direction, the Democratic governor said, leading him to loosen the two-month-old stay-at-home order.
NEWARK, NJ - The entrance of Edison Ale House bar and restaurant during Newark’s city wide shelter-in-place mandate during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on May 09, 2020 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Donell Woodson/Getty Images)