NJ governor announces additions to essential retail businesses permitted to operate during the coronavirus outbreak

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Superintendent of the State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan announced a new administrative order on Tuesday that permits additional retail businesses to operate during normal business hours during the coronavirus outbreak.

The following additional businesses are considered essential and can remain open in New Jersey:

  • Mobile phone retail and repair shops
  • Bicycle shops, but only to provide service and repairs
  • Livestock feed stores
  • Nurseries and garden centers
  • Farming equipment stores

“While we understand that this an unprecedented time for our state, I thank each and every New Jerseyan for using their common sense and staying home as much as possible,” Murphy said of the new order.

Businesses that remain open must practice social distancing. People should try to remain at least six feet apart. Businesses should sanitize surfaces frequently.

The order also clarifies that municipalities can impose their own additional restrictions on beaches and boardwalks. Municipalities are also allowed to impose additional restrictions on parks. Municipalities are not allowed to impose any other additional restrictions beyond the governor’s orders. All municipalities and counties are to follow the state’s regulations about what is to remain open, and not create their own separate rules.

Other businesses that are allowed to remain open across the state under the governor’s order include:

  • Grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and farms that sell directly to customers, and other food stores, including retailers that offer a varied assortment of foods comparable to what exists at a grocery store
  • Pharmacies and alternative treatment centers that dispense medicinal marijuana, and medical supply stores
  • Gas stations and their retail portions, convenience stores, stores within healthcare facilities, hardware and home improvement stores
  • Banks and other financial institutions
  • Laundromats and dry-cleaning services
  • Stores that principally sell supplies for children under five years old
  • Pet stores
  • Liquor stores
  • Car dealerships, but only to provide auto maintenance and repair services, and auto mechanics
  • Retail functions of printing and office supply stores, and retail functions of mail and delivery stores.
  • All restaurants, cafeterias, and food courts with or without a liquor license, all bars, and all other holders of a liquor license with retail consumption privileges. They are permitted to operate with normal business hours, but are limited to offering only food delivery and take-out services. If alcoholic beverages are sold, the sales are limited to original containers sold from the principal public bar room. The on-premises consumption of alcohol is prohibited.
  • Breweries, plenary and farm winery licensees, craft distillery licensees and cidery and meadery licensees. They must sell beverages in original containers, and the beverages must be sold through customer pick up or delivery.

Residents still must remain home except to:

  • obtain goods and services from essential retail businesses,
  • obtaining takeout food or beverages from restaurants, other dining
    establishments, or food courts
  • purchase food from grocers, farmers’ markets, and retail businesses selling food
  • seek medical attention, essential social services, or assistance from law enforcement or emergency services
  • visit family or other individuals with whom the resident has a close personal
    relationship, such as those for whom the individual is a caretaker or romantic partner
  • report to or perform their job (The governor has called on businesses to let people work from home whenever possible)
  • walk, run, operate a wheelchair, or engage in outdoor activities with immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners while following social distancing practices with other individuals, including staying six
    feet apart
  • leave home for an educational, religious, or political reasons
  • leave because of a reasonable fear for health or safety, or leave at the direction of law enforcement or some other government agency.


  1. I get. You just can’t go out and party. The governor can just say: Don’t go out and party. Everything else stays the same. A good way to use as as many words as possible.

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