TRENTON, NJ -- Gov. Phil Murphy said at his COVID press briefing Monday afternoon that effective May 10, indoor room capacities for private catered events -- including weddings and school proms, political events, funerals, memorial services, and performances -- will increase to 50% with a maximum of 250 individuals.

He also announced the easing of the following restrictions:

  • Effective May 10, the general outdoor gathering limit will increase to 500 individuals.
  • Effective May 10, outdoor capacity for large venues (1,000 or more fixed seats) will increase to 50% – with six feet of distance between seated groups.
  • Effective May 10, outdoor carnivals and fairs are permitted to operate at 50% capacity, aligned with other amusement businesses.
  • Outdoor dining is not subject to a numerical capacity limitation. The only limitation is the number of groups you can place outdoors that can be spaced six feet apart.
  •  The New Jersey DOE will issue specific prom and graduation guidance later.

Dance floors will be allowed to open at private catered events with masking and social distancing requirements in place. However, dance floors at bars and other businesses such as nightclubs must still remain closed at this time. 

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"Events that are being catered have a better ability to control," Murphy explained. "There is a whole list of reasons why the state's public health emergency exists. We don't want these to last any longer than we have to... We're just not there yet."

"Should our public health metrics continue to trend as they have been, we would hope to increase this limit yet again before Memorial Day," Murphy said. 

The governor was asked whether restrictions on the hard hit restaurant industry would be eased in the near future.

"If restaurant numbers keep going the way they have been going, it (loosened restrictions) will happen sooner rather than later," Murphy said.

The governor also explained that he is in the process of finalizing an executive order and follow-up guidance for the safe operations of summer day camps and overnight sleep away camps. He said he would provide details in the next two days.

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