top of page

REOPENING UPDATE: NJ Businesses that May Reopen and Which Businesses Must Be Closed (6/8/2020)

Businesses That May Be Open

If your business is not a retail business, you may continue to operate, but you must let your workers work from home whenever possible. For example, professional service firms—like law firms and accounting firms—may continue to operate, but must let employees work from home. The U.S. Department of Labor has guidance on the Fair Labor Standards Act pertaining to your obligations to employees regarding telework. If you have employees that need to be on site, you must keep them to the minimum number needed for critical operations; examples of these include cashiers, store clerks, construction workers working on projects deemed essential, repair workers, warehouse workers, lab researchers, custodial staff, and certain administrative staff.

"Essential" retail businesses may stay open to the public while following required mitigation requirements; these types of businesses include:

  • Grocery stores and any stores that sells food;

  • Pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries;

  • Medical supply stores;

  • Gas stations;

  • Convenience stores;

  • Stores in healthcare facilities;

  • Hardware and home improvement stores;

  • Banks;

  • Laundromats/dry-cleaning services;

  • Liquor stores;

  • Auto mechanics;

  • Self-serve car washes;

  • Car, motorcycle, and boat dealerships (visits including sales by appointment only);

  • Bicycle shops;

  • Printing and office supply shops;

  • Mail and delivery stores;

  • Mobile phone retail and repair shops;

  • Pet stores, pet groomers, pet daycare, and pet boarders;

  • Livestock feed stores;

  • Farming equipment stores;

  • Nurseries and garden centers;

  • Landscaping; 

  • Stores that principally sell supplies for children under five;

  • Stores that principally sell items for religious worship;

  • Firearms retailers, by appointment only and during limited hours;

  • Realtors, but only to show houses 1-on-1 (open houses are prohibited);

  • Horse boarding may allow owners to visit and exercise their horses; therapeutic riding may continue;

  • Marinas and boatyards for personal use.

Nonessential retail stores are allowed to be open for online or phone ordering with curbside pickup only, while following required mitigation requirements. Beginning June 15, 2020, customers will be allowed in nonessential retail stores. Indoor shopping malls will remained closed, but customers will be allowed in stores that have their own outdoor entrance.

Bars and restaurants are open for drive-through, delivery, and takeout only. Beginning June 15, 2020, restaurants will be allowed to open for outdoor dining. Required safety and sanitization protocols must be followed. Microbreweries or brewpubs may be open for home delivery only.

Child care centers may operate only if they certified by Friday, March 27, 2020 that they will only serve children of essential workers starting April 1, 2020. Child care centers will be allowed to reopen their doors to all clients effective Monday, June 15, 2020. The Department of Children and Families' safety guidelines specify rules which centers must abide by as a condition of reopening, and each child care center must submit an attestation to the Department of Children and Families no later than 24 hours prior to the anticipated opening date, or in the case of currently operating emergency child care centers, within fourteen days of the effective date of Executive Order No. 149, attesting that it will follow all applicable health and safety standards.

Golf courses may be open as long as they adopt policies that include: tee times at least 16 minutes apart; limiting golf carts to a single occupant; restricting players' ability to touch the flagstick, hole, and other surfaces; and requiring face coverings, sanitization, and social distancing. Four player tee-times, forecaddies, equipment rentals, and restrooms are allowed. Refer to Executive Orders 133 and 147 for all requirements. Miniature golf remains closed.

Recreational campgrounds, both public and private, may be open. Certain other outdoor recreational areas and businesses may operate as well, within a capacity limit of 25 individuals. These include batting cages and golf ranges, shooting and archery ranges, horseback riding, private tennis clubs, and community gardens. Refer to Executive Order 147 for all requirements.

Horse-racing can take place. Fans will not be allowed into racetrack grandstands.

Organized sports activities will be able to restart June 22, 2020. Activities will be limited to sports activities conducted outside, and there can be no contact drills or activities. Youth day camps will be able to resume on July 6, 2020, including municipal summer recreation programs, only if they submit an attestation to the Department of Health no later than 24 hours prior to opening attesting that they will follow all applicable health and safety standards. Residential and overnight camps are prohibited from operating. The Department of Health will be releasing the health and safety standards that must be followed.

Gatherings of vehicles, such as drive-in movies or religious services, are allowed, so long as all participants remain in their vehicle, all vehicles remain closed (unless the vehicles are at least 6 feet apart), organizers wear face coverings and all appropriate protective equipment, and contactless payment is offered.

Chartered-boat services, including fishing and watercraft rentals, may operate as of May 17, 2020.

If your business falls into one of the blanket exemption categories, you may continue to operate; these businesses include:

  • Health care or medical service providers;

  • Essential services for low-income residents, including food banks;

  • The media;

  • Law enforcement;

  • Federal government operations, or the movement of federal officials in their official capacity.

Construction projects, including nonessential construction, may operate; construction projects must follow required mitigation protocols.

Businesses That Must Be Closed

Other recreational and entertainment businesses must be closed; these types of businesses include:

  • Casino gaming floors, including sports wagering lounges and concert/entertainment venues;

  • Gyms and fitness centers, including classes;

  • Entertainment centers, including movie theaters, performing arts centers, concert venues, and nightclubs;

  • Indoor parts of shopping malls. Restaurants and other stores in shopping malls that have their own external entrances may continue offering food delivery and/or take-out services;

  • All places of public amusement, whether indoors or outdoors, including but not limited to, locations with amusement parks, water parks, aquariums, zoos, arcades, fairs, children’s play centers, funplexes, theme parks, bowling alleys, family and children’s attractions.

All personal-care businesses that by their very nature result in noncompliance with social distancing must be closed to the public as long as the Order remains in effect. These include:

  • Hair salons and Barbershops;

  • Spas;

  • Nail and eyelash salons;

  • Tattoo parlors;

  • Massage parlors;

  • Tanning salons; and

  • Public and private social clubs.

Beginning June 22, 2020, hair salons and barbershops may reopen.

Libraries must be closed. This includes all municipal, county, and State public libraries, and all libraries and computer labs at public and private colleges and universities.

Other Information

All outdoor gatherings are limited to 25 individuals. Indoor gatherings remain limited to 10 people. Gatherings include conferences, large meetings, parties, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and any other type of assembly. Outdoor dining is not allowed.

Manufacturing, industrial, logistics, ports, shipping, food production, food delivery, and other commercial operations may continue to operate, but must limit staff on site and adopt social distancing policies and protocols.

Marine terminals in the Port of New York and New Jersey are open and fully operational. For additional information and updates, please check the Port of NY & NJ website as well as register for Port e-alerts, log into the Port Truck Pass portal, or subscribe to the Breaking Waves newsletter.

Medical facilities may continue to operate. Medical facilities include any facility where a sick or injured person is given care or treatment, such as: doctor’s offices, hospitals, dentist offices, long-term care facilities, and other medical offices.

Employees reporting to work are permitted to travel to and from their place of business. Businesses are encouraged to give each employee a letter indicating that the employee works in an industry permitted to continue operations.

Governor Murphy also signed Executive Order 108, which invalidates any county or municipal restrictions that conflict with Executive Order 107. The only exceptions are: 1) short-term rentals and online marketplaces offering lodging; 2) municipal or county parks; 3) beaches and boardwalks.

If you believe your retail business is unique and should be considered an "essential business," you may be inquire with the team (via the chat feature in the corner of this page) about submitting your business to the State Director of Emergency Management. You still need to close your business until you are told you have been deemed essential. If your business falls into a category already exempted, or you are not a retail business, you do not need an exemption and should not pursue this option.

If any nonessential business continues to operate when it should be closed, you can report it at

If any business is not following social distancing guidelines, you can use the above form or report the business by contacting your Local Health Department, which you can identify with the Find Your Local Health Department tool.

Updated: June 5, 2020

Source: Executive Order Nos. 107, 108, 110, 133, 142, 147, 149, 150; Administrative Orders 2020-5, 2020-6, 2020-8, 2020-10, 2020-13; April 18 Press Release on Marinas and Boatyards

88 views0 comments


bottom of page