During his daily coronavirus update on Tuesday afternoon, Governor Phil Murphy announced he is lifting the state’s stay-at-home order which was put in place nearly three months ago due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The move is part of Stage 2 of the state’s reopening, which will see non-essential businesses permitting customers inside stores beginning on June 15.
The Governor’s announcement comes as statistics continue to show fewer, newly infected COVID-19 patients, and fewer deaths being reported, since the height of the pandemic in April.
More than 12,300 New Jerseyans have died from the coronavirus since the first reported case on March 4. Almost 165,000 have been infected.
Today’s announcement includes the reopening of religious houses of worship with new capacity limits and the raising of outdoor gathering limits. Indoor houses of worship may permit either 25 percent of building capacity, or 50 total worshipers, whichever is lower. Face coverings and social distancing guidelines of six feet must be observed. The religious gathering limits are effective immediately.
Indoor dining at restaurants is not part of this new limitation. Outdoor dining at establishments may resume on Monday.
As for outdoor gatherings, the Governor today raised the cap from 25 to 100 people, effective Monday. As long as the numbers do not spike upwards and continue to decline, Murphy says he expects that he will raise the the limit on outdoor gatherings to 250 people on June 22 and 500 people on July 3.
That’s great news for school districts, who will be able to hold senior graduations outside beginning on July 6 as long as they do not exceed 500 people.
Finally, public and private community swimming pools may open on June 22 for the summer season.
All other outdoor recreational and entertainment businesses, with the exception of arcades, amusement parks, and water parks may open on June 22.