TRENTON – The governor announced June 15 as the date that New Jersey would be entering Phase Two of its reopening.
“Public health determines economic health and data determines dates,” Gov. Phil Murphy said on June 1.
Phase Two has been described by the state has having restrictions relaxed on activities that can easily be safeguarded. Phased-in businesses may include:
- Expanded retail
- Safeguarded restaurants with outdoor seating
- Limited personal care
- Possibly indoor dining, museums, and libraries, all with significantly reduced capacity
More work activities will be allowed at physical locations only if they adhere to safeguarding and modification guidelines. All workers who can work from home should continue to work from home.
“We have lost around 12,000 people because of the coronavirus and we know we will lose more,” he said. “We know that right now there is no cure. There is no vaccine.
“We’re already seeing the results of responsible planning. Key metrics of hospitalizations have dropped dramatically. It was only weeks ago that we feared that ICUs (intensive care units) would have run out of room but we are seeing they have plenty of equipment and room including ventilators,” Murphy said.
He added that 20,000 tests of the coronavirus can occur each day. “New Jersey leads the nation in daily testing per capita due to everyone’s hard work. We will keep building to remain number one. We set and then met and exceeded them to lead the nation.”
Non-essential stores would be able to welcome back customers on June 15 inside. “Our gyms and health clubs will be able to open at limited capacities soon and we’ll have a date for that soon,” the governor added. Salons and hair facilities may open by June 22.
“Those workers who can work from home will be expected to keep having their workers working at home. Let’s use common sense. We still face challenges. We are still seeing more people testing positive than any other state but we are testing more,” Gov. Murphy said.
Gov. Murphy said that while the state is preparing to open up, “we cannot do it blindly.” He noted the 11,721 deaths blamed on the coronavirus as of that day.
“We are responding responsibly in the face of this pandemic and the tremendous toll it has taken in this state. In recent weeks we have been able to take our first steps on our road back with our restart and our recovery with small and meaningful steps…Steps to get all our construction officers back on the job, to allow our retail stores to serve more customers through curb side pickup starting the process of greenlighting summer day camps, to resume sports and the beaches,” Murphy said. Murphy could not yet say how Stage Two would impact the opening Motor Vehicle Commission offices in the state.