NJ governor signs executive order increasing capacity limit for outdoor gatherings and allowing campgrounds to reopen

Outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people are now allowed as long as people practice social distancing. The new rules apply to parks as well.

As the Memorial Day holiday weekend was about to kick off on Friday, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order increasing the limit on outdoor gatherings from 10 to 25 people and allowing recreational campgrounds to reopen with social distancing measures in place. The limit on indoor gatherings remains at 10 people.

The order also recommends that people wear a face covering while at outdoor gatherings and recreational campgrounds, especially when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

“Our steady progress on the road back has been made possible through the hard work and personal responsibility of New Jerseyans to safeguard public health,” Murphy said. “I’m proud that we can confidently take this step today and provide further optimism for the unofficial start of summer.”

The executive order allows outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people as long as the following rules are followed:

  • The gathering must take place entirely outdoors except for restroom use.
  • Capacity must be limited to no more than 25 people at all times.
  • Attendees must be six feet apart at all times, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners.
  • Contact is prohibited between attendees, and no organized or contact sports are allowed.
  • If the event is an organized gathering, the organizer should demarcate six feet of spacing in the area of the gathering to demonstrate appropriate spacing for social distancing.
  • Provided seating should be limited to individuals, spaced six feet apart, and seating should be sanitized after each use.
  • The sharing of any physical items provided and require sanitization before and after each use is prohibited.
  • Contactless pay options should be used wherever feasible. 

Charter Boats and Recreational Businesses: The order rescinds the 10-person capacity limit on charter boats and recreational businesses, including archery ranges, batting cages, golf driving ranges, horseback riding, tennis clubs, and shooting ranges, and imposes a new 25-person capacity limitation with a requirement that individuals can remain six feet apart at all times.

Parks, Beaches, Boardwalks, and Lakeshores: The order allows gatherings of no more than 25 people at state parks and forests, county and municipal parks, public and private beaches, boardwalks, lakes, and lakeshores, but prohibits special events such as festivals, concerts, fireworks, and movies.

Recreational Campgrounds: The order permits private and public recreational campgrounds to reopen to the public. The following remain closed at recreational campgrounds: picnic areas, playgrounds, pavilions, and other buildings amenities, or facilities, except restrooms and showers. Recreational campgrounds that are open to the public must comply with the same restrictions required for recreational businesses. The Department of Environmental Protection is required to prepare a phased-in reopening plan for all campgrounds located at state parks and forests within fifteen days.