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New NJ Coronavirus Rules: Here's What Can Be Done Inside, Outside

Patch logo Patch 6/10/2020 Tom Davis
a person drinking a glass of water on a table © Shutterstock

NEW JERSEY – Hanging out with friends, but not 6 feet apart. Holding a church service that's similar (but not quite) to what was done in February.

New Jersey has relaxed rules for social contact amid the coronavirus outbreak, and there were some surprising allowances made now that the limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings were raised (see list below).

For instance:

  • When the number of individuals indoors is 10 persons or fewer, the gathering is not required to stay 6 feet apart but they must wear face coverings.
  • When the number of individuals outdoors is 25 persons or fewer, or if it's a protest or religious service, the gathering is not required to comply with social distancing.

New Jersey also allowed outdoor entertainment and recreational businesses to restart, except for amusement and water parks and arcades.

Murphy, speaking during a Tuesday news conference, lifted New Jersey's stay-at-home order and will allow for much bigger gatherings, paving the way for graduations, protests and indoor and outdoor church services to occur. He made the announcement as he revealed 375 additional coronavirus cases and 91 more deaths. Read more: Gov. Murphy Lifts NJ Stay-At-Home Order, Allows Bigger Gatherings

Here are the rules. All indoor gatherings must:

  • The number of individuals at the gathering shall be limited to 25 percent of the capacity of the room or 50 people.
  • All attendees at the gathering must wear face coverings at all times unless it inhibits the individual’s health or the individual is under 2 years of age;
  • If there are individuals organizing or maintaining the gathering, those people must wear face coverings whenever feasible, and must wear face coverings whenever they are within 6 feet of another individual
  • All attendees at the gathering are required to be 6 feet apart from other attendees at all times, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners.
  • There may be no contact between attendees, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners.
  • When the number of individuals is 10 persons or fewer, the gathering is not required to stay 6 feet apart but they must wear face coverings.
  • If there are individuals organizing or maintaining the gathering, they should, where applicable, demarcate 6 feet of spacing in the area of the gathering to demonstrate appropriate spacing for social distancing, such as through the placement of cones, flags, or other markings.
  • Any physical items, including equipment, may not be shared by multiple attendees of the same gathering except for immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners
  • Contactless options for pre-payment or donation, such as online or by telephone, must be offered wherever feasible.

All outdoor gatherings must adheres to the following rules:

  • The number of individuals at the gathering must be limited to 100 persons or fewer
  • All attendees at the gathering are required to be 6 feet apart from other attendees at all times, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners
  • There may be no contact between attendees, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners
  • If there are individuals organizing or maintaining the gathering, they should, where applicable, demarcate 6 feet of spacing in the area of the gathering to demonstrate appropriate spacing for social distancing, such as through the placement of cones, flags, or other markings
  • Any physical items, including equipment, may not be shared by multiple attendees of the same gathering except for immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners.
  • When the number of individuals is 25 persons or fewer, or if it's a protest or religious service, the gathering is not required to comply with social distancing.
  • Open-air rain tarps, tents, and other outdoor structures shall be allowed solely for the purpose of protecting against foul weather or for shade
  • All individuals at the gathering should wear face coverings at all times where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, except where doing so would inhibit the individual’s health or where the individual is under two years of age.
  • Contactless options for pre-payment or donation, such as online or by telephone, must be offered wherever feasible.

All recreational and entertainment businesses are also permitted to reopen their outdoor spaces to the public, as long as:

  • The public is permitted only in such outdoor spaces except when they enter the indoor premises in order to access the outdoor area, or to use the restroom;
  • All individuals can remain six feet apart
  • Open-air rain tarps, tents, and other outdoor structures shall be allowed solely for the purpose of protecting against foul weather or for shade
  • Require that reservations, cancellations and pre-payments be made via electronic or telephone reservation systems to limit physical interactions. Such policies shall, wherever possible, consider populations that do not have access to Internet service or credit cards
  • Install a physical barrier, such as a shield guard, between visitors and employees wherever feasible or otherwise ensure six feet of distance between those individuals, except at the moment of payment
  • Limit the use of equipment rented or otherwise provided by the business to one person at a time, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners
  • Demarcate and post signs that denote 6 feet of spacing in all commonly used and other applicable areas or where people may form a line
  • Require infection control practices, such as regular hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, and proper tissue usage and disposal
  • Provide employees break time for repeated hand-washing throughout the workday
  • Provide sanitization materials, such as hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes, to staff and customers
  • Limit occupancy in restrooms that remain open to avoid over-crowding and maintain social distancing through signage and, where practicable, the utilization of attendants to monitor capacity
  • Require frequent sanitization of high-touch areas including, at minimum, the following cleaning protocols
  • Routinely clean and disinfect all high-touch areas in accordance with DOH and CDC guidelines, particularly in spaces that are accessible to staff, customers, or members, or other individuals. Those spaces include restroom and locker facilities, counter tops, hand rails, door knobs, other common surfaces, safety equipment, and other frequently touched surfaces
  • Clean and disinfect equipment that is rented in accordance with CDC and DOH guidelines
  • Train and equip employees to perform the protocols effectively and in a manner that promotes the safety of the visitors and staff
  • Place additional restrictions on areas of the business, as necessary, to limit person-to-person interactions and facilitate appropriate social distancing
  • Immediately separate and send home workers who appear to have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 illness upon arrival at work or who become sick during the day
  • Promptly notify workers of any known exposure to COVID-19 at the worksite, consistent with the confidentiality requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and any other applicable laws
  • Clean and disinfect the worksite in accordance with CDC guidelines when a worker at the site has been diagnosed with COVID-19 illness
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