Murphy loosens chokehold on outdoor gatherings…just a little bit


TRENTON- New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has released his chokehold on the New Jersey public, but just slightly, when it comes to outdoor gatherings.

 Murphy signed Executive Order No. 234, which will increase outdoor gathering limits and increase capacity for seated events at large venues. The Order also clarifies indoor capacity limits for banquet halls and similar venues.

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“With the warmer weather approaching, we are taking the step to increase outdoor gathering limits to encourage everyone to engage in social activities outside whenever possible,” said Governor Murphy. “Additionally, we are confident in increasing capacity in our large venues as we have seen the strict enforcement of our COVID-19 health and safety protocols by spectators since we reopened these venues last month. By continuing to follow public health guidance and data, I am hopeful that we will be able to responsibly and incrementally expand capacities in the coming months.”

Executive Order No. 234 will effectuate the following changes on Friday, April 2, at 6:00 a.m.:

Outdoor Gatherings

  • The general outdoor gathering limit will increase from 50 people to 200 people.
  • Outdoor gatherings that are religious services or ceremo nies, political events, weddings, funerals, or memorial services will continue to not have any limit.
  • College and youth sporting events will be permitted up to 200 spectators if the outdoor venue can accommodate appropriate social distancing.  

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Large Venues

  • Venues, including sports and entertainment venues, with a seating capacity of 2,500 or more will be permitted to host events at 20 percent capacity indoors and 30 percent capacity outdoors. The capacity limits will continue to exclude participants, such as athletes and performers, and staff, such as coaches and ushers.   
  • Facilities that host such events must ensure that all attendees at the event remain six feet apart from other attendees, except those individuals who purchase or reserve tickets together may be seated together. Attendees will also be required to wear masks within the facility, except when eating or drinking.  

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Catered Events

  • The Order also clarifies that banquet halls and similar dining establishments and venues that use a licensed caterer can host indoor celebrations and other private catered events at 35 percent of the room’s capacity, up to 150 persons. 

Indoor Gatherings

  • The general indoor gathering limit will remain at 25 people.
  • Indoor gatherings that currently have a higher limit  – religious services or ceremonies, political events, weddings, funerals, memorial services, or performances – will remain unchanged.   

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