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N.J. to increase indoor and outdoor gathering limits

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday signed an executive order that icreases indoor capacity limits for certain businesses and increase both the general indoor and outdoor gathering limit.

The new limits go into effect on March 19 at 6 a.m., aligned with increases in capacity in Connecticut and New York, officials said.

“We believe we can confidently take these steps today as our COVID-19 metrics continue to trend in the right direction,” Murphy said. “However, our mask mandate and COVID-19 health and safety protocols remain in effect. I am hopeful that we’ll be able to take further steps in expanding capacity responsibly and incrementally guided by public health data.” 

The following businesses will be allowed to increase indoor capacity limits from 35 percent to 50 percent (employees of the businesses are not to be counted for capacity calculations): Restaurants, cafeterias, food courts, bars, indoor recreation businesses, amusement businesses, entertainment businesses, casinos, gyms, barber shops, nail salons, and other personal care businesses.  These businesses must continue to abide by health and safety protocols, including the wearing of face coverings and physical distancing requirements, officials said. 

The general indoor gathering limit will increase from 10 people to 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.  

The general outdoor gathering limit will increase from 25 people to 50 people. Outdoor gatherings that are religious services or ceremonies, political events, weddings, funerals or memorial services remain unchanged.