Executive Order No. 157 (2020) -

Executive Order No. 157 (2020)

Governor Philip D. Murphy

Executive Order No. 157 (2020)

An Order Establishing Rules for Indoor Dining, Indoor Recreational Facilities, and Individualized Instruction at Gyms and Fitness Centers

Issued: June 26, 2020.

Effective: June 26, 2020.

WHEREAS, in light of the dangers posed by Coronavirus disease 2019 ("COVID-19"), I issued Executive Order No. 103 on March 9, 2020, the facts and circumstances of which are adopted by reference herein, which declared both a Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency; and

WHEREAS, through Executive Order Nos. 119, 138, and 151, issued on April 7, 2020, May 6, 2020, and June 4, 2020, respectively, the facts and circumstances of which are adopted by reference herein, I declared that the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency continued to exist and declared that all Executive Orders and Administrative Orders adopted in whole or in part in response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency remained in full force and effect; and

WHEREAS, in accordance with N.J.S.A. App. A:9-34 and -51, I reserve the right to utilize and employ all available resources of State government to protect against the emergency created by COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, as COVID-19 continued to spread across New Jersey and an increasing number of individuals required medical care or hospitalization, I issued a series of Executive Orders pursuant to my authority under the New Jersey Civilian Defense and Disaster Control Act and the Emergency Health Powers Act, to protect the public health, safety, and welfare against the emergency created by COVID-19, including Executive Order Nos. 104-133, Nos. 135-138, and Nos. 140-156 (2020), the facts and circumstances of which are all adopted by reference herein; and

WHEREAS, to further limit community spread from person-to-person contact through use of social mitigation measures, Executive Order No. 107 (2020) closed all recreational and entertainment businesses, and limited all restaurants, dining establishments, and food courts, with or without a liquor license, all bars, and all other holders of a liquor license with retail consumption privileges, to offering food delivery and/or take-out services only; and

WHEREAS, given the decrease in the rate of reported new cases of COVID-19 in New Jersey, including a reduction in the total number of individuals being admitted to hospitals for COVID-19, the State can take steps to lift certain restrictions that were designed to limit person-to-person contact; and

WHEREAS, even as the rate of reported new cases of COVID-19 decreases, the ongoing risks presented by COVID-19 mean that many of the State's current measures must remain in place, both to reduce additional new infections and to save lives; and

WHEREAS, after consultation with officials from the Department of Health ("DOH"), I announced a multi-stage New Jersey's Road Back Plan (the "Plan") for the methodical and strategic reopening of businesses and activities based on scientific data and metrics concerning the level of disease transmission risk and essential classification; and

WHEREAS, the State is implementing its reopening process and has begun to relax restrictions on certain businesses, including the resumption of non-essential construction, the allowance of a number of lower-risk outdoor activities, and the opening of all retail establishments; and

WHEREAS, consistent with this Plan, I issued Executive Order No. 150 (2020), which permitted restaurants, bars, and other food or beverage establishments to provide in-person dining outdoors, again with social distancing requirements; and

WHEREAS, consistent with this Plan, I issued Executive Order No. 153 (2020), which permitted recreational and entertainment businesses to reopen the outdoor portions of their premises to the public, again with social distancing requirements; and

WHEREAS, while outdoor spaces continue to present a lower risk of COVID-19 transmission than indoor spaces, because of our continued progress in the fight against COVID-19, restaurants, bars, and other food or beverage establishments can begin to offer in-person dining indoors; and

WHEREAS, because of our continued progress, most recreational and entertainment businesses can now allow the public into their indoor spaces for activity, including but not limited to libraries, museums, aquariums, and public and private social clubs; and

WHEREAS, because public health experts have identified that indoor environments present increased risks of transmission as compared to outdoor environments, it is appropriate to impose even stricter social distancing measures and sanitization protocols on indoor dining and indoor recreational and entertainment businesses than are placed on their outdoor counterparts, including capacity limits to limit person-to-person contact and a requirement that individuals wear masks at all feasible times to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission when such contact does occur; and

WHEREAS, because indoor dining and indoor recreational and entertainment businesses also both entail a higher risk than indoor retail settings, as the former involves individuals congregating together in one location for a prolonged period of time, while in indoor retail settings, individuals neither congregate in large groups nor remain in close proximity for extended periods and so the risk of COVID-19 spread is reduced, it is also appropriate to impose stricter capacity limits on indoor dining and indoor recreational and entertainment businesses than are currently imposed on indoor retail settings; and

WHEREAS, although individuals in the indoor premises of all business establishments are required to wear a mask at all times, it is not possible for a customer to wear a mask when consuming food or beverage, meaning that all customers at any indoor food or beverage establishment must only be allowed to consume such food or beverage while seated at their table or at an individual seat, to minimize the risk of any person-to-person contact taking place between patrons without masks in any indoor space; and

WHEREAS, self-serve arrangements at food and beverage establishments, such as buffets, facilitate person-to-person contact and involve the use of common equipment and thus create an unnecessary risk of transmission and must remain prohibited, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC") have suggested; and

WHEREAS, in heavily regulated industries such as casinos and racetracks, where expert State agencies have special knowledge of and experience with the businesses' operations, these industries can and should be subject to any additional health and safety protocols that those appropriate authorities believe would be consistent with public health and industry operations; and

WHEREAS, even as the State begins to allow recreation and entertainment businesses to reopen their indoor premises to the public with strict social distancing requirements, certain indoor entertainment businesses still pose an unacceptably high risk of transmission of COVID-19 at this time; and

WHEREAS, in particular, performance-based locations such as movie theaters, performing arts centers, and other concert venues, must remain closed to the public at this time, because those businesses necessitate a large number of individuals congregating together concurrently in one indoor location for an unusually prolonged period of time, even more so than in other recreational and entertainment businesses where individuals do not inherently spend as prolonged an amount of time together in one single room or location, and because there are an especially high number of available outdoor and virtual options for members to the public to view and listen to movies and other performances, whether live or otherwise, that reduce the risk of indoor person-to-person contact and COVID-19 transmission; and

WHEREAS, indoor gyms, sports facilities, and fitness centers present particularly high risks of COVID-19 transmission, where people are congregating in a confined indoor space and working out, which entails sustained physical activity resulting in heavy breathing and exhalations that can increase the risk of COVID-19 spread, and where exercise equipment is shared by many different people over the course of the day, creating an additional danger of COVID-19 spread, and there are a high number of outdoor recreation opportunities to ensure that members of the public can engage in a wide range of exercise and fitness; and

WHEREAS, even as individual performance-based locations and gyms and fitness centers may take additional measures to address COVID-19 transmission, it will not be administrable, enforceable, and/or otherwise sufficiently protective of public safety to simply allow business owners to set their own divergent health measures, done without approval of the State and its health officials; and

WHERERAS, because dance floors by their nature are designed to facilitate especially close person-to-person contact, they must remain closed to the public at this time, even at establishments, such as food or beverage establishments, that are otherwise now permitted to reopen to the public; and

WHEREAS, because amusement and water parks include many high touch areas that make social distancing guidelines and capacity limits difficult to implement, maintain, monitor, and enforce, they must be subject to stricter capacity limits than other outdoor environments, and like gyms and fitness centers, cannot yet open their indoor premises to the public; and

WHEREAS, because gatherings bring people together to a specific location for a common reason and a common period of time, they create an increased risk of person-to-person interaction and contact among those participants that must be appropriately curtailed, especially when they take place indoors; and

WHEREAS, the Constitution and statutes of the State of New Jersey, particularly the provisions of N.J.S.A. 26:13-1et seq., N.J.S.A. App. A: 9-33 et seq., N.J.S.A. 38A:3-6.1, and N.J.S.A. 38A:2-4 and all amendments and supplements thereto, confer upon the Governor of the State of New Jersey certain emergency powers, which I have invoked;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, PHILIP D. MURPHY, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

1. All retail establishments may open their premises to the public, whether that premises is indoors or outdoors, provided that they adopt policies that include, at minimum, the following requirements:

a. Limit occupancy of any indoor premises to 50% of the stated maximum store capacity, if applicable, at one time, excluding the retail establishment's employees;

b. Limit total capacity of any outdoor area to a number that ensures that all individuals can remain six feet apart;

c. Establish hours of operation, wherever possible, that reserve a designated period of access solely to high-risk individuals, as defined by the CDC;

d. Install a physical barrier, such as a shield guard, between customers and cashiers/baggers wherever feasible or otherwise ensure six feet of distance between those individuals, except at the moment of payment and/or exchange of goods;

e. Require infection control practices, such as regular hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, and proper tissue usage and disposal;

f. Provide employees break time for repeated handwashing throughout the workday;

g. Arrange for contactless pay options, pickup, and/or delivery of goods wherever feasible. Such policies shall, wherever possible, consider populations that do not have access to internet service;

h. Provide sanitization materials, such as hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes, to staff and customers;

i. Require frequent sanitization of high-touch areas like restrooms, credit card machines, keypads, counters and shopping carts;

j. Place conspicuous signage at entrances and throughout the store, if applicable, alerting staff and customers to the required six feet of physical distance;

k. Demarcate six feet of spacing in check-out lines to demonstrate appropriate spacing for social distancing; and

l. Require workers and customers to wear cloth face coverings while in the indoor portion of the premises, except where doing so would inhibit that individual's health or where the individual is under two years of age, and require workers to wear gloves when in contact with customers or goods. Businesses must provide, at their expense, such face coverings and gloves for their employees. If a customer refuses to wear a cloth face covering for non-medical reasons and if such covering cannot be provided to the individual by the business at the point of entry, then the business must decline the individual entry into the indoor premises. If the business is providing medication, medical supplies, or food, the business policy should provide alternate methods of pickup and/or delivery of such goods for such individual. Nothing in the stated policy should prevent workers or customers from wearing a surgical-grade mask or other more protective face covering if the individual is already in possession of such equipment, or if the business is otherwise required to provide such worker with more protective equipment due to the nature of the work involved. Where an individual declines to wear a face covering in the indoor premises due to a medical condition that inhibits such usage, neither the essential retail business nor its staff shall require the individual to produce medical documentation verifying the stated condition.

2. Personal care service facilities, which collectively refers to cosmetology shops; barber shops; beauty salons; hair braiding shops; nail salons; electrology facilities; spas, including day spas and medical spas, at which solely elective and cosmetic medical procedures are performed; massage parlors, tanning salons, and tattoo parlors, may open their premises to the public provided that such businesses adopt policies that they comply with the standards issued by the Division of Consumer Affairs and DOH, as applicable. Additionally, notwithstanding any provision of DOH Executive Directive No. 20-015 or Division of Consumer Affairs Administrative Order No. 2020-09 prohibiting services that would require the removal of a client's face covering, such personal care services may be provided as of 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 2, 2020, provided that clients must wear a face covering at all times before and after the service, and subject to Paragraph 3 of this Order and any enhanced standards for the provision of such services as the Division of Consumer Affairs or DOH may adopt, as applicable.

3. Notwithstanding Paragraph 2 of this Order, personal care services offered outside of personal care service facilities or of health facilities providing medically necessary or therapeutic services shall remain prohibited pursuant to Administrative Order No. 2020-10, until explicitly authorized by an order from the State Director of Emergency Management. If such an order is issued by the State Director of Emergency Management, these personal care services must be provided in a manner that complies with standards issued by the Division of Consumer Affairs and DOH, as applicable, and all other applicable laws and regulations. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to preclude an individual from providing personal care services in a shop, office, or other premises licensed, or otherwise authorized by the Division of Consumer Affairs or one of its licensing boards or DOH that is located in a residence, provided they comply with standards issued by the Division of Consumer Affairs and DOH, as applicable, and all other applicable laws and regulations.

4. Restaurants, cafeterias, dining establishments, and food courts, with or without a liquor license, bars, and all other holders of a liquor license with retail consumption privileges, collectively referred to as "food or beverage establishments," are permitted to offer in-person service at outdoor areas, defined as open air spaces without a fixed roof, besides a temporary or seasonal awning or cover, provided that the establishment complies with the following requirements:

a. Ensure all areas designated for food and/or beverage consumption are in conformance with applicable local, State, and Federal regulations;

b. Limit capacity to a number that ensures all patrons can remain six feet apart from all other patrons at all times, except for those patrons with whom they are sharing a table;

c. Ensure that tables where individuals or groups are seated remain six feet apart in all directions from any other table or seat and that individual seats in any shared area that is not reserved for individual groups, such as an outdoor bar area, are also six feet apart in all directions from any other table or seat;

d. Prohibit patrons being served at outdoor areas from entering the indoor premises of the food or beverage establishment, except to walk through such premises when entering or exiting the food or beverage establishment in order to access the outdoor area, or to use the restroom;

e. Require patrons being served at outdoor areas to wear a face covering while inside the indoor premises of the food or beverage establishment, unless the patron has a medical reason for not doing so or is a child under two years of age;

f. Prohibit smoking in any outdoor areas designated for the consumption of food and/or beverages. The requirement that food or beverage establishments impose this prohibition shall sunset at 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 2, 2020, although food or beverage establishments can choose to continue this prohibition; and

g. Abide by all other health and safety standards issued by the Commissioner of the Department of Health, consistent with her authority under the Emergency Health Powers Act.

5. Effective at 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 2, 2020, food or beverage establishments are permitted to offer in-person service at indoor areas, provided that the establishment complies with the following requirements:

a. Limit the number of patrons in indoor areas to 25 percent of the food or beverage establishment's indoor capacity, excluding the food or beverage establishment's employees;

b. Ensure that tables where individuals or groups are seated are six feet apart in all directions from any other table or seat and that individual seats in any shared area that is not reserved for individual groups, such as an indoor bar area, are also six feet apart in all directions from any other table or seat;

c. Require patrons to wear face coverings while inside the indoor premises of the food or beverage establishment, except when seated at their table or in their individual seat. This requirement does not apply if the patron has a medical reason for not wearing a face covering or is a child under two years of age;

d. Food or beverage establishments with table service may only allow patrons to place orders when seated, and only wait staff may bring food or beverages to seated patrons;

e. Patrons may only consume food or beverages while seated; and

f. Abide by all other health and safety standards issued by the Commissioner of the Department of Health, including infection control practices and other sanitization protocols, consistent with her authority under the Emergency Health Powers Act.

6. Nothing in this Order shall prevent a food or beverage establishment that offers take-out options from allowing an individual who is seeking take-out rather than table service to enter the indoor premises of the establishment to place an order, make payment, and pick up food or beverages, including in situations where a food or beverage establishment makes outdoor areas without table service available. Such individuals shall wear a face covering while inside the indoor premises of the food or beverage establishment, unless the individual has a medical reason for not doing so or is a child under two years of age.

7. Prior to 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 2, 2020, the rules for recreational and entertainment businesses that were instituted in Executive Order No. 153 (2020) remain in effect. As of 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 2, 2020, all recreational and entertainment businesses may open their entire premises, whether indoor or outdoor, to the public, unless otherwise prohibited by this Order, provided that such businesses adopt policies that include, at minimum, the following requirements:

a. Limit the number of patrons in any indoor premises to 25 percent of the stated maximum capacity, if applicable, at one time, excluding the recreational or entertainment business's employees;

b. Limit total capacity of any outdoor area to a number that ensures that all individuals can remain six feet apart, except for amusement parks, water parks, and pools, which are limited to 50 percent capacity, excluding the employees of those businesses;

c. Require that reservations, cancellations and prepayments be made via electronic or telephone reservation systems to limit physical interactions. Such policies shall, wherever possible, consider populations that do not have access to internet service or credit cards;

d. Install a physical barrier, such as a shield guard, between visitors and employees wherever feasible or otherwise ensure six feet of distance between those individuals, except at the moment of payment;

e. Limit the use of equipment rented or otherwise provided by the business to one person at a time, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners, and sanitize such equipment before and after use;

f. Demarcate and post signs that denote six feet of spacing in all commonly used and other applicable areas or where people may form a line;

g. Require infection control practices, such as regular hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, and proper tissue usage and disposal;

h. Provide employees break time for repeated handwashing throughout the workday;

i. Provide sanitization materials, such as hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes, to staff and customers;

j. Limit occupancy in restrooms that remain open to avoid over-crowding and maintain social distancing through signage and, where practicable, the utilization of attendants to monitor capacity;

k. Require frequent sanitization of high-touch areas including, at minimum, the following cleaning protocols:

i. Routinely clean and disinfect all high-touch areas in accordance with DOH and CDC guidelines, particularly in spaces that are accessible to staff, customers, or members, or other individuals, including, but not limited to, restroom and locker facilities, counter tops, hand rails, door knobs, other common surfaces, safety equipment, and other frequently touched surfaces including employee used equipment, and ensure cleaning procedures following a known or potential exposure in compliance with CDC recommendations;

ii. Clean and disinfect equipment that is rented in accordance with CDC and DOH guidelines; and

iii. Train and equip employees to perform the above protocols effectively and in a manner that promotes the safety of the visitors and staff;

l. Place additional restrictions on areas of the business, as necessary, to limit person-to-person interactions and facilitate appropriate social distancing;

m. Immediately separate and send home workers who appear to have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 illness upon arrival at work or who become sick during the day;

n. Promptly notify workers of any known exposure to COVID-19 at the worksite, consistent with the confidentiality requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and any other applicable laws;

o. Clean and disinfect the worksite in accordance with CDC guidelines when a worker at the site has been diagnosed with COVID-19 illness;

p. Continue to follow guidelines and directives issued by the New Jersey Department of Health, the CDC and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, as applicable, for maintaining a clean, safe and healthy work environment;

q. Require workers and customers to wear cloth face coverings while in the indoor portion of the premises, except where doing so would inhibit that individual's health or where the individual is under two years of age, and require workers to wear gloves when in contact with customers or goods. Businesses must provide, at their expense, such face coverings and gloves for their employees. If a customer refuses to wear a cloth face covering for non-medical reasons and if such covering cannot be provided to the individual by the business at the point of entry, then the business must decline the individual entry into the indoor premises. Nothing in the stated policy should prevent workers or customers from wearing a surgical-grade mask or other more protective face covering if the individual is already in possession of such equipment, or if the business is otherwise required to provide such worker with more protective equipment due to the nature of the work involved. Where an individual declines to wear a face covering in the indoor premises due to a medical condition that inhibits such usage, neither the essential retail business nor its staff shall require the individual to produce medical documentation verifying the stated condition; and

r. The requirement listed above in Paragraph 7(q) shall not apply where impracticable, such as when individuals are eating or drinking while seated, or in an aquatic space such as a pool.

8. The following recreational and entertainment businesses may open their outdoor spaces to the public, but may not open their indoor spaces to the public, except that members of the public may enter the indoor premises of the recreational business when entering or exiting the establishment in order to access the outdoor area, or to use the restroom:

a. "Health clubs," as defined by N.J.S.A. 56:8-39, which include gyms and fitness centers, as well as any health club facilities located in hotels, motels, condominiums, cooperatives, corporate offices, or other business facilities;

b. Entertainment centers where performances are viewed or given, including movie theaters, performing arts centers, other concert venues; and

c. Amusement or water parks that are indoors.

9. Any establishment open to the public, including a food or beverage establishment, must cordon off any indoor or outdoor dance floors to the public.

10. Notwithstanding the prohibition on health clubs opening their indoor spaces to the public, such health clubs may open indoor premises to the public to offer individualized indoor instruction by appointment only where an instructor is offering training to an individual, and the individual's immediate family members, household members, caretakers, or romantic partners. If a health club is offering multiple simultaneous instructions at the same facility, these instructions must take place in separate rooms or, if they take place in the same room, must be separated by a floor-to-ceiling barrier that complies with all fire code requirements.

11. Notwithstanding the other requirements contained in this Order, casinos, including casino gaming floors and retail sports wagering lounges, may only reopen their premises to the public if they comply with any and all additional requirements imposed by the Division of Gaming Enforcement, and racetracks may only reopen their premises to the public if they comply with any and all existing and additional requirements imposed by any relevant State entity, including the New Jersey Racing Commission and the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management.

12. Notwithstanding the above paragraphs, amusement and water parks are permitted to open their outdoor premises to the public only where they are in compliance with the health and safety standards issued by the Commissioner of the DOH.

13. Notwithstanding the above paragraphs, pool facilities are permitted to open to the public only where they are in compliance with the health and safety standards issued by the Commissioner of the DOH. Effective at 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 2, 2020, aquatic recreation facilities and water fountains (those considered recreational, not those for drinking) are permitted to be open to the public.

14. Effective at 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 2, 2020, playgrounds, including playgrounds at pool facilities, are permitted to be open to the public.

15. Individuals who are at any of these businesses at a specific time, a specific location, and for a common reason, such as a poker tournament at a casino, a wedding at a restaurant, or an outdoor concert or movie screening, are subject to the State gathering limits in effect at that time, which were most recently laid out in Executive Order No. 156 (2020).

16. Any prior requirements imposed by an Executive Order issued on or after March 21, 2020, that are inconsistent with the terms of this Order are hereby superseded.

17. The State Director of Emergency Management, who is the Superintendent of State Police, shall have the discretion to make additions, amendments, clarifications, exceptions, and exclusions to the terms of this Order.

18. It shall be the duty of every person or entity in this State or doing business in this State and of the members of the governing body and every official, employee, or agent of every political subdivision in this State and of each member of all other governmental bodies, agencies, and authorities in this State of any nature whatsoever, to cooperate fully in all matters concerning this Order.

19. No municipality, county, or any other agency or political subdivision of this State shall enact or enforce any order, rule, regulation, ordinance, or resolution which will or might in any way conflict with any of the provisions of this Order, or which will or might in any way interfere with or impede its achievement.

20. Penalties for violations of this Order may be imposed under, among other statutes, N.J.S. A. App. A:9-49 and -50.

21. This Order shall take effect immediately, and shall remain in effect until revoked or modified by the Governor, who shall consult with the Commissioner of DOH as appropriate.

(Published July 21, 2014 in the New Jersey Register at 46 N.J.R. 1669(a). Published June 26, 2020 in the New Jersey Register at 52 N.J.R. 1455(a).)

The following state regulations pages link to this page.