TRENTON, NJ - In time for Memorial Day weekend, Gov. Phil Murphy has lifted the 10-person outdoor limit on gatherings to 25 effective Friday. 

“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 daily press briefing this morning at the Washington Memorial Ballroom. 

When he signs the executive order, Murphy said, the state edges closer to Phase 2 of its 6-point plan to re-open the Garden State.

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However, altering the restrictions won’t impact indoor gatherings — which remains capped at 10 people. 

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 consecutive day NJ officials announced fewer than 200 additional deaths, and the 16th consecutive day with fewer than 2,000 new cases.

The re-opening of New Jersey beaches Friday will be monitored closely by state officials, and is considered a test for how well residents handle the new norms during a trip to the shore.

“Enjoy this weekend, but do not be complacent,” the governor’s Twitter page posted. “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.”