An executive order signed by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy mandates that all non-essential retail businesses in the state close their stores and almost all state residents stay home to help slow down the spread of the coronavirus.
The order, which was signed this Saturday, will affect 9 million residents in the state. People who work in essential services such as the healthcare and food industry are exempt from the order. The order also bans all gatherings including weddings and parties.
“My job is to make sure we get through this emergency so that you can safely gather with family and friends later,” the governor said at a news conference.
“We must flatten the curve and ensure residents are practicing social distancing,” he said in announcing the new restrictions. But, he added, “Even with this order in effect … life in New Jersey does not have to come to a complete standstill.”
Similar sweeping mandates have been made in California, Illinois, New York and Pennsylvania and other states.
The Garden State now has 1,327 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 16 deaths. That includes a single-day increase of 442 cases as the state continues to increase access and availability of testing.
ESSENTIAL RETAIL BUSINESSES THAT CAN STAY OPEN IN NJ
- Grocery stores
- Farmers markets and farms that sell directly to customers
- Other food stores, including retailers that offer a varied assortment of foods comparable to what exists at a grocery store
- Medical marijuana dispensaries
- Medical supply stores
- Gas stations
- Convenience stores
- Ancillary stores within healthcare facilities
- Hardware and home improvement stores
- Banks and other financial institutions
- Laundromats and dry-cleaning services
- Stores that principally sell supplies for children under five years
- Pet stores
- Liquor stores
- Car dealerships, but only for auto maintenance and repair, and auto mechanics
- Printing and office supply shops
- Mail and delivery stores
Restaurants can also stay open but will continue to be limited to takeout and delivery, as they have been since Monday.