TRENTON, NJ – Outdoor dining and in-person retail shopping will be allowed starting June 15, while personal care businesses such as barbershops and hair salons will be able to open a week later as Gov. Phil Murphy continues to peel away social distancing measures.

Youth summer programs will also be permitted to start on July 6 during what Murphy calls Stage 2 of New Jersey’s road back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although Murphy is also trying to determine when gyms and health clubs will also open their doors, the re-opening of New Jersey will come with some restrictions.

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“It’s going to look a lot I would suspect like the guidance for essential retail,” Murphy said Monday, turning briefly to confer with State Health Director Judy Persichelli. “So, it’s going to be capacity, social distancing, markers on the ground, maybe some plexiglass.

“And I would think restaurants, outdoor dining will probably have some of the elements we’ve spoken to, distance between tables, probably temperature checks or something like that on the way in. Masks, gloves for employees and I would guess more paper menus, but I will leave it (at that). That’s to come.”

Murphy said the re-opening of New Jersey is possible because of the continuing decline in key indicators, most notably a drop in new positive COVID-19 cases, new hospitalizations and the number patients on respirators. He said the number of new hospitalizations (36) was dwarfed by the number of discharges (160).

Although the news of further relaxed social distancing orders was welcomed for all those who need a haircut, a pedicure and a steak dinner on the patio of their favorite restaurant, he urged all residents with the option to continue to work from home.

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