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For which reasons can I leave my home or place of residence? What are the “stay at home” rules in New Jersey?

Last Updated: 05/14/2020

UPDATE: Governor Murphy's stay-at-home Executive Order, which has been in effect since March 21st, will remain in effect in its entirety until further notice. The Governor has outlined his vision to restart New Jersey and put the state on the road to recovery based on six key principles and benchmarks that will guide the process. Click here for a one-page summary of Governor Murphy's plan to restore New Jersey's economic health through public health.

To mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and protect the capacity of New Jersey's health care system for the state's most vulnerable, the State of New Jersey has directed all residents to stay at home until further notice. The order provides for certain exceptions. New Jersey residents may:

  1. Obtain goods or services from essential retail businesses
  2. Obtain takeout food or beverages from restaurants, other dining establishments, or food courts
  3. Seek medical attention, essential social services, or assistance from law enforcement or emergency services
  4. Visit family or other individuals with whom the resident has a close personal relationship, such as those for whom the individual is a caretaker or romantic partner
  5. Report to, or perform, their job if it is an essential business and they cannot perform their duties remotely
  6. Walk, run, operate a wheelchair, or engage in outdoor activities with immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners while following best social distancing practices with other individuals, including staying six feet apart
  7. Leave because of a reasonable fear for one's health or safety
  8. Leave at the direction of law enforcement or other government agency

Any gathering, ceremony, or celebration must comply with the limits on gatherings laid out in Executive Order No. 107 (paragraph 5) and Executive Order No. 142 (paragraph 8).

For drive-in gatherings, if vehicles are closer than six feet apart, then all windows, sunroofs, or convertible tops must remain closed, unless the health or safety of the occupants is endangered.

In all other cases, residents should stay at home as much as possible. If you must leave your home:

  • Do not leave your home if you are quarantined or in home isolation. If you need essential goods or services while in isolation, refer to this article.
  • If you must leave home to access essential goods, please go at non-peak times. Retail food stores have been encouraged to maintain separate operating hours for senior citizens and other high-risk populations.
  • You should wear a face covering whenever you leave your home and MUST wear one when shopping at essential retail businesses, entering a restaurant or bar to pick up takeout orders, or when traveling on public transportation. For more guidance on using face coverings, refer to this article.
  • Keep your visit to essential retail stores as brief as possible, and go alone if possible.
  • When shopping and standing in line, please keep six feet between yourself and others.
  • Please do not enter a retail facility if you have symptoms consistent with COVID19 (such as fever or a cough), have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or are undergoing a quarantine for potential exposure to COVID-19.

Source:;;; Executive Order No. 142