As NJ Retailers Reopen, Capacity Will Be Capped at 50%, Masks Must Be Worn

Gov. Phil Murphy says new guidance on reopening retailers are the same as those for retailers that have remained open throughout the coronavirus pandemic

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New Jersey retailers reopening later this month after being closed to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus must keep capacity in stores to 50%.

Gov. Phil Murphy made the announcement about the resumption of in-person nonessential retail during his Thursday news conference.

Murphy has slowly lifted restrictions on some businesses as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have slowed in recent weeks. He had previously announced that small businesses shuttered by the virus would be able to reopen on June 15.

On Thursday, he announced that an executive order he signed Wednesday about outdoor dining, also laid out guidelines for reopening nonessential in-person retail.

On June 15 when retailers reopen, capacity will will capped at 50%, customers and employees must wear face coverings and regular sanitization is required.

Murphy said the rules for small businesses and other retailers reopening is the same as those in place for essential retailers like pharmacies and grocery stores that have remained open during the pandemic.

As of Thursday, nearly 858,000 COVID-19 tests had been reported in New Jersey. Nearly 163,000 people had tested positive for the coronavirus. At least 11,970 people died from coronavirus-related complications. Another 92 deaths were announced Thursday.

In recent days, Murphy has also used the briefings to address racial injustice, applaud peaceful protesters and announce an overhaul of police force guidelines in the wake of the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis last week.

Murphy plans to take part in a moment of silence to honor Floyd's life Thursday.

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