top of page

UPDATE 9/28/20: Business That May Open, Guidance and Guidelines to be Followed

Businesses opening brick and mortar locations are advised, in addition to all State rules below, to follow CDC business guidance and OSHA workplace guidance, which includes: industry-specific guidelines for a variety of industries; a 35-page guide on preparing workplaces [PDF]; and record-keeping requirements.

The CDC offers a decision-making tool to assist employers in making (re)opening decisions, especially to protect vulnerable workers. Employers with questions about their responsibilities regarding return to work can review the NJ Department of Labor's site for Employers and Businesses.

Businesses That May Be Open

If your business is not a retail business, you have been allowed—and may continue—to operate, but you must accommodate your workforce, wherever practicable, for telework or work-from-home arrangements. 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, repair workers, warehouse workers, lab researchers, custodial staff, and certain administrative staff. Any building open to workers must follow minimum cleaning protocols as described in Executive Order 122.

Retail businesses may be open to customers while following Department of Health Guidance for Retail Businesses [PDF], including limiting occupancy to 50% of store capacity, installing a physical barrier such as a shield guard where possible and wherever you cannot maintain 6 feet of social distancing, all required infection control practices, and mandating everyone in the store to wear face coverings. Indoor portions of retail shopping malls may be open, while common areas such as communal seating and food courts and entertainment businesses must remain closed.

Food or beverage establishments may be open, including restaurants, bars, cafeterias, and food courts, as well as all holders of a liquor license with retail consumption privileges. Establishments must follow Department of Health Protocols for Outdoor Dining [PDF] and Health and Safety Standards for Indoor Dining [PDF]. Areas with a fixed roof, if two sides are open, comprising over 50% of their total wall space, may operate under rules for outdoor dining under Executive Order 163.

Microbreweries and brewpubs may be open for home delivery. Depending on the type of license they hold, food service may also be allowed; business owners should consult Executive Orders 150 and 157 and the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control's ruling [PDF] to determine if they qualify.

Personal care businesses may be open. These include: beauty salons; barber shops; cosmetology shops; day spas (but not saunas, steam rooms, or shared bathing facilities) and medical spas which solely perform elective and cosmetic medical procedures; electrology facilities; hair braiding shops; massage parlors; nail salons; tanning salons; and tattoo parlors. Licensed businesses must abide by the Division of Consumer Affairs' comprehensive safety standards for Cosmetology, Massage, and Bodywork licensees [PDF], including providing services by appointment only, prescreening and temperature checks of clients and staff, and staff-client pairs remaining at least 6 feet apart unless separated by physical barriers. Tattoo and tanning facilities must follow Department of Health standards for tanning and body art establishments [PDF]. Everyone in a personal care business must wear a face covering; under Executive Order 157, clients may receive services that require the removal of a face covering, provided that clients wear a face covering at all times before and after the service.

Child care centers may be open to all clients. The Department of Children and Families' Child Care Safety Requirements [PDF] specify rules which centers must abide, 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 previously 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.

All recreational and entertainment businesses may be open, including outdoor and indoor amusement parks and water parks, following requirements detailed in Executive Order No. 157, Executive Order No. 181, and the Department of Health's Health and Safety Standards for Outdoor and Indoor High-Touch Amusement and Recreation Activities, including but not limited to: capacity at 50% for outdoor areas and 25% for indoor premises; face coverings worn at all times except in the water; rides configured to ensure 6 feet of distance between groups and those waiting. Water parks must also adhere to the requirements of EO153 and the Health and Safety Standards for Pools and Aquatic Recreation Facilities.

Entertainment centers where performances are viewed or given may be open, including movie theaters, performing arts centers, and other concert venues, following requirements in Executive Order 183, including 25% capacity or 150 people (whichever is less), groups must stay at least 6 feet apart, and masks must be worn at all times, unless they are removing them to eat or drink concessions.

Indoor recreational facilities, museums, and aquariums may be open, following all requirements of Executive Orders 157 and 158, including 25% capacity and required face coverings. Examples of indoor recreational facilities include indoor bowling alleys, batting cages, shooting ranges, and arcades, and facilities for activities like dance, karate, arts and crafts, music lessons, theatre programs, gymnastics, indoor tennis, and yoga. Pools may be open and must follow requirements in Executive Orders 153 and 157 and the Department of Health Standards for Pools and Aquatic Recreation Facilities [PDF], including implementing a COVID-19 Pool Operation Prevention Plan.

Gyms and fitness centers may operate indoor and outdoor spaces, so long as they follow the required safety policies detailed in Executive Orders 157 and 181 and the Department of Health's guidance for health clubs/gyms/fitness centers [PDF], including, but not limited to: 25% capacity; masks worn by gym-goers, employees, staff, and trainers at all times; fitness classes, pilates, and yoga classes with capacity limited to one customer per every 200 square feet of classroom space; logs maintained of when all gym members and staff are in the facility; equipment spaced to allow a minimum of 6-feet of distance between all gym-goers; and equipment only made available that can be properly sanitized in-between uses.

Casinos may be open, following all requirements from Executive Orders 157 and 158, the Division of Gaming Enforcement, and reopening protocols from the Casino Association of New Jersey, including but not limited to; 25% capacity; smoking prohibited indoors; reopening plans submitted to the Division of Gaming Enforcement. Racetracks may be open for in-person bets, including at their sportsbooks and lounges, as long as they abide by applicable gathering limits.

Hotels, motor hotels, motels, and other established guesthouses may be open and should adopt and implement written policies as defined in Department of Health Protocols for Hotel Sanitization [PDF].

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.

Municipal and private-club swimming pools may be open. Department of Health Pool Standards [PDF] must be followed, which include but are not limited to: reduced capacity, social distancing in and out of the water, staff fever screening, and maintaining a patron sign-in sheet. Prior to June 22, pool facilities have been allowed to be open for the purpose of lifeguard training and lifeguard swimming lessons. Summer camps will be able to use their pools when they reopen on July 6.

Organized sports activities may operate. Activities will be limited to sports activities conducted outside, and there can be no contact drills or activities. Department of Health Guidance for Sports Activities must be followed.

Career and training schools may be open, following protocols found in Executive Order 155.

Libraries may be open to patrons, following requirements in Paragraph 7 of Executive Order 157, including limiting capacity to 25%.

In-person clinical, lab, and hands-on programming at institutions of higher education may operate, subject to institution’s submitted restart plan.

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

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.

Transportation Carriers must comply with restrictions in Executive Order 125, which include, but aren't limited to, allowing back door entry where possible, infection control practices, and requiring face coverings. Face coverings are required in all NJ TRANSIT and private-carrier indoor stations.

Construction projects, including nonessential construction, may operate; construction projects must follow all protocols in Paragraph 2 of Executive Order 142, including social distancing, limited sharing of tools or machinery, limited meeting size and staggered start times, all required infection control practices and sanitation, and required face coverings.

Businesses That Must Be Closed

Shared space tutoring service facilities remain closed to students and clients. Tutoring services may offer remote learning.

Adult Day Care Centers remain closed.

Other Information

Gatherings of individuals, such as parties, celebrations, or other social events, are allowed at limited capacities and also subject to all other current business closures and restrictions. Indoor gatherings are permitted at 25% of a room's capacity or 25 persons, whichever is lower; an exception exists for weddings, funerals, and memorial services, and religious and political activities protected under the First Amendment, which are limited to 25% of a room's capacity or 150 persons, whichever is lower. Attendees at indoor gatherings must wear face coverings and stay 6 feet apart. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 500 persons, with an exception allowing no limits for First Amendment-protected outdoor activity, including political protests or outdoor religious services. (The CDC defines gatherings to include conferences, large meetings, parties, festivals, events, weddings, and other types of assemblies.)

Manufacturing, industrial, logistics, ports, shipping, food production, food delivery, and other commercial operations may continue to operate; manufacturing, warehouses, and other commercial buildings must follow protocols as described in Paragraphs 3, 4, and 5 of Executive Order 122, including immediate separation of workers with COVID-19 symptoms, notification of any workers exposed to COVID-19, limited group size and staggered start times, all required infection control practices and sanitation, and required face coverings.

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

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 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.

Updated: September 23, 2020 Source: Executive Order Nos. 107, 108, 110, 133, 142, 147, 149, 150, 152, 153, 154, 155. 157, 161, 163, 181; Administrative Orders 2020-5, 2020-6, 2020-8, 2020-10, 2020-11, 2020-13, 2020-15; April 18 Press Release on Marinas and Boatyards


7 views0 comments


bottom of page