TRENTON, NJ — In time for Memorial Day weekend, Gov. Phil Murphy lifted the 10-person outdoor limit on gatherings, now granting up to 25 to congregate — as long as they adhere to the proper COVID-19 safety protocols. 

“So if you were looking forward to gathering with your neighbors for a Memorial Day cookout you may do so, so long as social distance and personal responsibility remain the order of the day,” Murphy said during his May 22 press briefing.

As long as residents socially distance, the expansion on capacity paves the way for charter fishing, driving ranges and batting cages to operate more easily. However, altering the restrictions won’t impact indoor gatherings — which remains capped at 10 people. In addition, private and public campgrounds can open effective immediately, under the new executive order.  

Sign Up for Belmar/Lake Como Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

Following the continued easement of safety rules, Murphy said he expects to have guidance on graduations early next week.“Because you have taken to heart all you’ve asked us to do, to safeguard public health, we can take this step together, metrics from hospitals,” Murphy said. 

The Garden State can now confirm 152,719 positive individuals with COVID-19 (1,394 more since Thursday), and 10,985 deaths (146 more).

Today was the fifth straight day that New Jersey officials announced less than 200 additional deaths, and the 16th consecutive day with fewer than 2,000 additional cases.

The latest data, including discharges and hospital census, is updated on the New Jersey COVID-19 Dashboard.

Marking the reopening of New Jersey beaches Friday, state officials consider this weekend very much a test over how residents handle the new norms of a trip to the shore.

“Enjoy this weekend, but do not complacent,” the governor’s Twitter page posted alongside today’s presser. “Keep up with your social distancing. Wear a face covering if you’re going out. Let’s prove that we can keep these trend lines moving in the right direction.”

TAPinto Belmar/Lake Como is Belmar and Lake Como’s only free daily newspaper. Accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, it is the official electronic newspaper of both municipalities. As a locally owned news organization, TAPinto through its advertisers is able to publish online, objective news 24/7 at no charge. Sign up for its free daily e-News, and follow it on Facebook and Twitter.

Download the free TAPinto App! Click here for Android - Click here for iOS to get news as it is happening.