TRENTON, NJ — In the first major step to restart New Jersey’s economy, retail businesses will be able to offer curbside pickup and all nonessential construction project will resume. In addition, drive-thru and drive-in car gatherings will be permitted — all under an executive order announced today by Gov. Phil Murphy.

While the order will take effect at 6 am. on Monday, May 18 for the opening of construction projects and retail stores, drive-thru and drive-in car events can begin immediately.

 “I’ve been clear that data will determine dates, and what we are seeing gives us confidence that we can begin the careful restart of our economy,” said Murphy during his May 13 press briefing. “Over the past eight weeks, New Jerseyans have taken our stay-at-home order seriously and have created the conditions that make this next phase possible. The steps we are taking allow for important standards of social distancing to continue with the return of safe, responsible business operations.”

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According to the order, all construction projects must abide by the social distancing, safety and sanitization requirements that are described in detail in the governor’s executive order.

While nonessential retail businesses can offer curbside pickup of customer orders placed in advance, they must continue to have their in-store operations closed to customers and adhere to these requirements: 

  • In-store operations must be limited to employees responsible for the operations required for curbside pickup.
  • Customer transactions must be handled in advance by phone, email, facsimile or other means that avoid person-to-person contact.
  • Customers must notify the retailer by text message, email, or phone once they arrive or make the best efforts to schedule their arrival time in advance. Customer must remain in their vehicles until store staff delivers the purchase.
  • Designated employees must bring purchased items outside the retail establishment and place them directly in a customer’s vehicle when possible, avoiding person-to-person contact.
  • These businesses must follow social distancing and other preventive practices, including requiring workers to wear cloth face coverings when in contact with other workers or customers, and gloves when in contact with goods or customers. 

Retail businesses operating in shopping malls are permitted to offer curbside pickup, but the merchandise must be brought to customers outside the store.

Car gatherings that are permitted include drive-in movies, religious services, and drive-thru farms or safaris. However, attendees must remain in their cars throughout the event, and vehicles must remain closed at all times unless there are six feet of distance between other vehicles or individuals. In addition, individuals organizing these gatherings who are not in vehicles must follow social distancing and wear cloth face coverings.

Click here for Executive Order No. 142.

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