Governor Rolls Back Some COVID Restrictions

Governor Phil Murphy (Photo courtesy Governor's Office)

  TRENTON – Religious, sports and entertainment venues will be able to accommodate larger crowds following Governor Phil Murphy’s announcement today.

  The governor issued Executive Order No. 225, which increases capacity limits for religious services and large sports and entertainment venues. Additionally, limited spectators will be allowed at collegiate sporting events, mirroring last week’s announcement on youth sporting events.

  Governor Murphy said, “as our COVID-19 metrics continue to trend in the right direction and as we continue our aggressive vaccination effort, we believe we can safely take this step. We have always strived to make accommodations wherever safely possible, be it with religious services, sporting events, entertainment venues, or in other sectors.”

  He said he was also pleased “that we are able to increase these limits today and hopeful that the numbers continue to point in the right direction for further reopening steps.”

  The changes include religious services effective immediately. Services and celebrations, including wedding ceremonies, funerals, and memorial services that involve a religious service, will be able to operate at 50% capacity of the room in which they are held, with no cap on the number of individuals permitted to attend. 

  Previously, services were limited to 35% of the room and up to 150 individuals.

  As for collegiate sporting events, effective immediately, operators of indoor and outdoor collegiate sports practices and competitions may allow up to two parents or guardians per each participating athlete. Events include limiting the number of parents and guardians, the total number of individuals at an indoor practice or competition cannot exceed 35% of the capacity of the room, and any outdoor space needs to accommodate all attendees with appropriate room for social distancing.

  The venue could impose stricter policies if they choose.

  On March 1 at 6 a.m. large sports and entertainment venues will have a fixed seating capacity of 5,000 or more will be permitted to host a number of patrons and members of the public equal to 10% of capacity indoors and 15% of capacity outdoors. 

  Those facilities that host these events must ensure that all attendees at the event remain six feet apart from other attendees, except that individuals who purchase or reserve tickets together may be seated together. 

  Masks will continue to be required of all attendees within the facility, except when eating or drinking.