TRENTON, NJ — Restrictions on the number of spectators that can attend high school and other youth sporting events, both indoors and outdoors, have been eased according to a new executive order signed by Gov. Phil Murphy.

As he signed the order, the governor acknowledged that this announcement is one that "many athletes and many moms and dads have been waiting for."

Effective immediately, youth sporting events in New Jersey may now choose to allow up to two parents or guardians per athlete under the age of 21 to attend practices and competitions, as long as the attendance of those parents and/or guardians does not cause our indoor events to exceed the 35% of the room’s capacity or 150 people in total (whichever is less). No other spectators will be permitted to attend.

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All spectators must follow the guidance from the New Jersey Department of Health regarding sports activities, which includes requirements to wear a mask, observe social distancing and stay home if they are feeling sick or may have been exposed to COVID-19 or other illnesses. 

"Should a positive case arise from an event, all spectators will need to cooperate with contact tracing efforts," said Murphy. "I know many parents, especially those of our senior athletes, have been anxious to get back into the stands to cheer on their student athletes in what may, for many, be their final season of competition."

Murphy added that individual school districts retain the ability to either delay the start of this new spectator policy or implement stricter policies as they see fit. 

"This is something I have been wanting to do for our student athletes and their biggest fans," he said, noting that COVID-19 metrics continue to trend more positively in the state. "I urge everyone to take the proper precautions. I do not want to have to reverse course, no one wants to reverse course on this, but should we see trouble spots, we will have no choice, and we'll respond as needed...That said, we welcome parents, our kids' biggest fans, back into the arena, and we hope your athlete has a successful season."

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