From the New Jersey Governor’s Office, Monday, March 16, 2020
The three states will limit crowd capacity for recreational and social gatherings to 50 people, effective by 8 p.m. Monday, March 16
Restaurants and bars will close for on-premises service and move to takeout and delivery only, effective 8 p.m. Monday, March 16
Movie theaters, gyms and casinos will temporarily close, effective 8 p.m. Monday, March 16
Uniform approach to social distancing will slow spread of COVID-19 throughout the tri-state area
Amid a lack of federal direction and nationwide standards, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont today announced a regional approach to combating the novel coronavirus — or COVID-19 — throughout the tri-state area.
These uniform standards will limit crowd capacity for social and recreational gatherings to 50 people, effective 8 p.m. Monday, March 16. This follows updated guidance that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued Sunday recommending the cancellation or postponement of in-person events consisting of 50 people or more.
The three governors also announced restaurants and bars will close for on-premises service and move to takeout and delivery services only. These establishments will be provided a waiver for carry-out alcohol. These measures will take effect at 8 p.m. Monday, March 16.
Finally, the three governors said they will temporarily close movie theaters, gyms and casinos, effective at 8 p.m. Monday, March 16.
This uniform approach to social distancing is meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.
Murphy said, “With all we are seeing in our state — and across our nation and around the world — the time for us to take our strongest, and most direct, actions to date to slow the spread of coronavirus is now. I’ve said many times over the past several days that, in our state, we are going to get through this as one New Jersey family. But if we’re all in this together, we must work with our neighboring states to act together. The work against coronavirus isn’t just up to some of us, it’s up to all of us.”
Murphy further recommended that people should stay in their homes from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., except for emergencies. This is not an order, Murphy said, but the governor is “strongly discouraging non-essential travel” as the state of emergency continues.
Monday afternoon action
Murphy has signed Executive Order No. 104, implementing aggressive social distancing measures to mitigate further spread of COVID-19 in New Jersey. Among the directives, Murphy’s executive order indefinitely closes all public and private preschool, elementary and secondary schools, and institutions of higher education, as well as closes all casinos, racetracks, gyms, movie theaters and performing arts centers. The order also mandates that all non-essential retail, recreational and entertainment businesses must cease daily operations from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. All restaurant establishments, with or without a liquor license, are limited to offering only delivery and/or takeout services, both during daytime hours and after 8 pm.
“In order to slow the spread of COVID-19, we must take aggressive and direct social distancing action to curtail non-essential activities in the state,” Murphy said. “Our paramount priority is to ‘flatten the curve’ of new cases, so we do not overwhelm our health care system and overload our health care professionals who are on the frontlines of the response. My administration continues to work closely with our communities, stakeholders, union representatives and business leaders to ensure that we all do our part to win the fight against the novel coronavirus and emerge stronger than ever.”
In order to slow the spread of COVID-19, Murphy’s executive order directs:
- All gatherings of persons in New Jersey shall be limited to 50 persons or fewer, with limited exceptions;
- All public, private, and parochial preschool programs and elementary and secondary schools, including charter and renaissance schools, will be closed beginning on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, and remain closed as long as the order remains in effect;
- Institutions of higher education will cease all in-person instruction beginning on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, and shall cease such in-person instruction as long as the order remains in effect;
- The commissioner of Education shall continue working with each public, private and parochial school to ensure students are able to continue their education through appropriate home instruction
- The secretary of Agriculture and the commissioner of Education shall take all necessary actions to ensure all students eligible for free or reduced meals will continue to receive the services necessary to meet nutritional needs during closures;
- All casinos, concert venues, nightclubs, racetracks, gyms, fitness centers and classes, movie theaters and performing arts centers will be closed to the public beginning on Monday, March 16, 2020 at 8 p.m. and remain closed as long as this order remains in effect;
- All other non-essential retail, recreational and entertainment businesses must cease daily operations from 8 p.m. until 5 a.m.; and
- All restaurant establishments, with or without a liquor or limited brewery license, are limited to offering delivery and/or takeout services only.
The order will take effect immediately.