Gov. Murphy to Drop Many COVID Restrictions May 19th, Some Sooner
426 days after the lockdown was put in place, Gov. Murphy will be lifting most COVID-related restrictions on Wednesday, May 19th, and some before that.
In what is being called a regionally coordinated plan, Gov. Murphy, along with Gov. Cuomo of New York and Gov. Lamont of Connecticut, have announced that as of May 19th, indoor capacity limits for businesses like casinos, restaurants, gyms, hair salons, and museums will all be lifted for the first time in over a year, although people will still need to wear masks and practice social distancing, according to a report from NJ.com.
Bar seating, along with being able to get food at a self-service buffet, will return to the Garden State this Friday, May 7th. Also on Friday, indoor capacity limits, such as a prom this weekend, will increase to up to 250 people.
One caveat to reopening is social distancing. While, for example, a restaurant will be allowed to open at "full capacity," that capacity will be based on tables or seats remaining six feet apart. "Full capacity" is relative to the so-called "new normal" that we have been living with for over a year.
Also beginning on May 19th, the indoor capacity for large venues (those with at least 1,000 fixed seats) can operate at 30 percent capacity with six feet of space between ticketed groups.
In New York City, theaters on and off Broadway can also reopen without capacity limits, but with social distancing, on May 19th.
In speaking of New York state, earlier today, Cuomo said, "It's a measured reopen. It's a phased-reopening. But we are at a point now where we are going to take a major step forward in reopening."
As of Monday afternoon, 7,493,209 doses of COVID-19 vaccinations have been administered either in New Jersey or to people who live in the state but received it somewhere else. 3.26 million residents of the Garden State are now considered to be fully vaccinated. Over 70% of the state's adult population will be fully vaccinated by Memorial Day.
With prior reporting from Townsquare Media's Eric Scott