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6/1/21 UPDATE: Workplace Health & Safety Standards That Must Be Followed to Stay Open

Worksites open to the public can open at full capacity indoors and outdoors. Establishments do not need to limit occupancy to a number that ensures all individuals or groups can remain six feet apart. There are a few exceptions including in healthcare settings, child-care centers, schools, camps, which may be subject to specific guidance, and all forms of public transportation and other transportation hubs, correctional facilities, and homeless shelters. Indoor worksites not open to the public remain governed by existing health and safety protocols.

Effective Friday, June 4th, 2021, indoor worksites that are not open to the public will be able to allow employees who can verify that they are fully vaccinated the ability to forego wearing a mask and social distancing. Employers must abide by additional health and safety protocols outlined in Executive Order (EO) 192 and listed below in Health & Safety Standards for All Employers.

Businesses have the right to require stricter mask policies. Businesses are not permitted to restrict the use of face masks by their staff, customers, or visitors.

Municipalities and counties are also permitted to impose stricter requirements on masking in businesses open to the public.

Health & Safety Standards for All Employers

Every business, non-profit, governmental, and educational entity that requires or permits its workforce to be physically present at a worksite must abide by the following requirements, at minimum, to protect employees, customers, and others who come into contact with its operations:

  • Social distancing is not required, however, businesses are encouraged to follow CDC safety guidelines and social distancing to save lives and prevent the spread of COVID-19;

  • If masks or gloves are required by employers, they must be provided to employees;

  • Provide approved sanitization materials for employees and visitors at no cost to those individuals;

  • Ensure that employees practice hand hygiene and provide ​employees with sufficient break time for that purpose;

  • Routinely clean and disinfect all high-touch areas in accordance with DOH and CDC guidelines;

  • Prior to each shift, conduct daily health checks, such as temperature screenings, visual symptom checking, self-assessment checklists, and/or health questionnaires, consistent with CDC guidance;

  • Do not allow sick employees to enter workplace and follow requirements of applicable leave laws;

  • Promptly notify employees of any known exposure to COVID-19 at the worksite;

The following are additional requirements of indoor worksites:

Under federal OSHA law, employers must protect workers from workplace hazards that can cause illness or injury, provide required personal protective equipment (PPE), and ensure its use. It's also against New Jersey Wage and Hour law for an employer to deduct the cost of protective equipment from an employee’s pay. Employees who believe that their employer is not following the protocols articulated in EO 192 can file workplace safety complaints. Employers can check with the NJDOL about their health and safety questions. The department can be reached by email at or at 609-633-2587.

NJDOL also offers free health and safety trainings and consultations. For more information on consultations visit and for trainings visit

Detailed requirements and exemptions can be found in EO 192. Many sectors face additional requirements summarized in the articles below.

Industry-Specific Guidelines

Retail businesses and food or beverage establishments may return to full capacity. Indoor bar seating and buffets at bars and restaurants may resume. Dance floors at bars and restaurants may reopen. There are a few exceptions described below:

  • Indoor portions of malls may be open, and valet parking, communal play areas, and communal seating are now permitted to open.

  • Related Guidance: DOH Protocols for Outdoor and Indoor Dining, and DCA's guidance for the use of outdoor space.

Microbreweries and brewpubs may be open for home delivery. Depending on the type of license they hold, food service may be allowed; business owners should consult the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control's ruling to determine if they qualify.

Licensed personal care businesses may return to full capacity. Saunas, steam rooms, and shared bathing facilities are now allowed to operate. There are additional considerations described below:

  • Tattoo and tanning facilities must follow Department of Health standards for tanning and body art establishments.

  • Related Guidance: Licensed businesses must abide by the Division of Consumer Affairs' comprehensive safety standards for Cosmetology, Massage, and Bodywork licensees.

All recreational and entertainment businesses may return to full capacity. There are additional considerations described below:

  • Any recreational facility providing child care support must comply with all requirements of child care centers, including being licensed by the Department of Children and Families.

  • Amusement parks, theme parks and water parks must follow requirements detailed in the Department of Health’s Standards for Outdoor and Indoor High-Touch Amusement and Recreation Activities.

  • Water parks and pools must also adhere to the requirements of the Department of Health’s Standards for Pools and Aquatic Recreation Facilities.

  • Recreational businesses that offer indoor fitness classes and activities must also follow the Department of Health's Guidance for Health Clubs/Gyms/Fitness Centers

  • Large indoor venues should check for additional updates under the Indoor Gatherings section of this page.

Gyms and fitness centers may return to full capacity, though classes are subject to a 250-person limit indoors. As of June 4, 2021, private fitness classes, lessons, and trainings at gyms or studios, will not be subject to any indoor gathering limit. There are additional requirements described below:

  • The following protocols must be followed: logs maintained of when all gym members and staff are in the facility; and equipment only made available that can be properly sanitized in-between uses.

  • Related Guidance: Department of Health's Guidance for Health Clubs/Gyms/Fitness centers

Casinos may return to full capacity. Other restrictions to consider:

  • Smoking is prohibited indoors

  • Reopening plans must be submitted to the Division of Gaming Enforcement.

  • Related Guidance: The Division of Gaming Enforcement, and reopening protocols from the Casino Association of New Jersey.

Child care centers must follow the Department of Children and Families' Child Care Safety Requirements.

Hotels, motor hotels, motels, and other established guesthouses must follow written policies as defined in Department of Health Protocols for Hotel Sanitization and Executive Order No. 192.

Career and training schools must follow protocols in Paragraph 10 of Executive Order 155.

Transportation Carriers must comply with restrictions in Paragraph 1 of Executive Order 125 and Executive Order No. 192.

Residential and overnight camps will be allowed to reopen this summer. The Department of Health's 2021 COVID-19 Youth Summer Camp Standards shares more guidance.

Construction projects including nonessential construction, must follow all protocols in Paragraph 2 of Executive Order 142 and Executive Order No. 192.

Medical facilities may continue to operate. Facilities conducting elective services are required to comply with Guidance for Hospitals to Resume Elective Services and Guidance for Ambulatory Surgery Centers to Resume Elective Services. Further NJDOH Legal and Regulatory Compliance documentation is available from the department as well.

Adult Day Care Centers remain closed.

Gathering Limits

Indoor private social gatherings, such as parties at private residences, are limited to 50 people. Effective Friday, June 4th, 2021 the general indoor gathering limit will be removed.

  • Indoor business gatherings and organized gatherings in public settings (e.g. conferences, expositions, meetings of fraternal organizations, job trainings, events hosted by senior centers) will be limited to 250 people. Social distancing must be maintained and the indoor mask requirement will remain in effect to protect workers and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • Indoor catered events, wedding receptions, wedding ceremonies, funerals, and memorial services that do not involve a religious element are limited to 250 people per room, excluding venue employees. Effective Friday, June 4th, 2021 the general indoor gathering limit is expected to be removed.

  • Indoor gatherings for religious services and celebrations including wedding ceremonies, funerals, and memorial services that involve a religious element must limit capacity to a number that ensures all individuals or groups can remain 6 feet apart. Effective Friday, June 4th, 2021 the general indoor limit is expected gathering will be removed.

  • New Jersey allows dance floors at private catered events to reopen.

  • Large indoor venues with fixed seating capacity of 1,000 or more may host indoor events at 30% capacity. All attendees including individuals or groups of individuals that purchase tickets together must remain six feet apart. Effective Friday, June 4th, 2021 the 30% capacity limit is expected to be lifted.

Outdoor gatherings have no capacity limits.

If any business is violating the required guidelines, you can report it to the State at, or to your Local Health Department, which you can identify with the Find Your Local Health Department tool.



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