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If I’m a customer, employee, or operator of a business, what social distancing guidelines should I follow?

Last Updated: 05/19/2020

Customers

  • If you are quarantined or in home isolation, do not leave your home. 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 as brief as possible, and go alone if possible.
  • When shopping and standing in line, please keep six feet between yourself and other customers/staff.
  • 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.

Employees

  • 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, do not report to work.
  • Must use a face covering. Your employer is required to provide materials for this purpose. For more guidance on using face coverings, refer to this article.
  • Under Executive Order 107 , if your job can be performed from home, you should be performing it at home. Your employer should permit you to do so. If you believe your employer is violating Executive Order 107, please visit https://covid19.nj.gov/violation.
  • Keep six feet of distance from customers and co-workers in the store.
  • Please wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol based sanitizer frequently, and particularly after contact with shared public surfaces.

Executive Orders No. 122, No. 125, and No. 142 outline the following requirements for businesses:

Requirements for All Businesses Operating
Owners of buildings used for commercial, industrial, or other enterprises, and of residential buildings with at least 50 units, must implement the following policies at minimum:

  • Clean and disinfect high-touch areas routinely in accordance with CDC guidelines, particularly in spaces accessible to staff, customers, tenants, or other individuals, particularly following a known or potential exposure;
  • Maintain current cleaning procedures in all other areas of the facility;
  • Ensure that the facility has a sufficient number of workers to perform the above protocols effectively.

Additional Requirements by Business Type

Additional Requirements for Bars and Restaurants
Restaurants, cafeterias, food courts, bars, etc., that are still permitted to operate must adopt the following policies:

  • Limit occupancy to 10% of stated maximum capacity;
  • Ensure 6 feet of distance between workers and customers except at the moment of payment or exchange of goods;
  • Arrange for contactless pay options, pickup, or delivery wherever possible;
  • Provide hand sanitizer and wipes to staff and customers;
  • Frequently sanitize high-touch areas like credit card machines, keypads, and counters;
  • Require infection control practices such as regular hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, and proper tissue usage;
  • Place conspicuous signage at entrances and throughout the food business alerting staff and customers to the required 6 feet of distance;
  • Require workers and customers to wear cloth face coverings, and require workers to wear gloves. A business must provide, at its own expense, these face coverings and gloves for employees. Customers may be exempted if it would inhibit their health, or if under two years of age. If a customer refuses, they must be denied entry, but another method of pickup should be provided.

Additional Requirements For All the Following: Retail, Manufacturing, Warehousing, and Construction
All businesses of these types must adopt the following policies:

  • Immediately separate and send home workers who appear to have COVID-19 symptoms;
  • Promptly notify workers of any known exposure to COVID-19, subject to confidentiality requirements in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA);
  • Clean and disinfect the worksite in accordance with CDC guidelines when a worker has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
  • Continue to follow all guidelines and directives issued by the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH), the CDC, and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) for maintaining a clean, safe and healthy work environment.
  • Businesses must provide face coverings and gloves to all employees, and employees are required to wear face coverings and gloves while on the premises.

Additional Requirements for Construction

  • Prohibit non-essential visitors from entering the worksite;
  • Engage in appropriate social distancing measures when picking up or delivering equipment or materials;
  • Limit worksite meetings, inductions, and workgroups to groups of fewer than ten individuals;
  • Require individuals to maintain six feet or more distance between them wherever possible;
  • Stagger work start and stop times where practicable to limit the number of individuals entering and leaving the worksite concurrently;
  • Identify congested and "high-risk areas," including but not limited to lunchrooms, breakrooms, portable rest rooms, and elevators, and limit the number of individuals at those sites concurrently where practicable;
  • Stagger lunch breaks and work times where practicable to enable operations to safely continue while utilizing the least number of individuals possible at the site;
  • Require workers and visitors to wear cloth face coverings, while on the premises, except where doing so would inhibit the individual's health, and require workers to wear gloves while on the premises. Businesses must provide, at their expense, such face coverings and gloves for their employees;
  • Require infection control practices, such as regular hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, and proper tissue usage and disposal;
  • Limit sharing of tools, equipment, and machinery;
  • Where running water is not available, provide portable washing stations with soap and/or alcohol-based hand sanitizers that have greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol;
  • Require frequent sanitization of high-touch areas like restrooms, breakrooms, equipment, and machinery;
  • When the worksite is an occupied residence, require workers to sanitize work areas and keep a distance of at least six feet from the occupants; and
  • Place conspicuous signage at entrances and throughout the worksite detailing the above mandates.

Additional Requirements for Manufacturing and Warehousing

  • Prohibit non-essential visitors from the worksite;
  • Limit all worksite meetings and groups to fewer than 10 people;
  • Require everyone to maintain 6 feet of social distancing wherever possible;
  • Stagger start and stop times to limit the number of people entering and leaving at the same time;
  • Stagger lunch breaks and work times to minimize the number of people on site while safely continuing operations;
  • Restrict the number of individuals who can access common areas such as restrooms and breakrooms at the same time;
  • Require workers and visitors to wear cloth face coverings, and require workers to wear gloves. A business must provide, at its own expense, these face coverings and gloves for employees. If a visitor refuses for a non-medical reason, they must be denied entry.
  • Require infection control practices such as regular hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, and proper tissue usage;
  • Limit sharing of tools, equipment, and machinery;
  • Provide hand sanitizer and wipes to workers and visitors; and
  • Require frequent sanitization of high-touch areas like restrooms, breakrooms, equipment, and machinery.

Additional Requirements for Essential Retail
Essential retail businesses that are still permitted to operate must adopt the following policies:

  • Limit occupancy to 50% of maximum store capacity at one time;
  • Establish hours of operation specifically for the exclusive use of high-risk individuals;
  • Install a physical barrier, such as a shield guard, between customers and cashiers/baggers where possible and anywhere you cannot maintain 6 feet of distance;
  • Require regular hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, and proper tissue usage and disposal;
  • Provide employees break time for regular hand washing;
  • Arrange for contactless pay options, pickup, or delivery of goods wherever possible;
  • Provide hand sanitizer and wipes to staff and customers;
  • Frequently sanitize high-touch areas like restrooms, credit card machines, keypads, counters and shopping carts;
  • Require infection control practices such as regular hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, and proper tissue usage;
  • Place conspicuous signage at entrances and throughout the store alerting staff and customers to the required 6 feet of distance;
  • Demarcate 6 feet of spacing in check-out lines to demonstrate appropriate social distancing;
  • Require workers and customers to wear cloth face coverings, and require workers to wear gloves. A business must provide, at its own expense, these face coverings and gloves for employees. Customers may be exempted if it would inhibit their health, or if under two years of age. If a customer refuses, they must be denied entry, unless the business is providing medication, medical supplies, or food, in which case another method of pickup should be provided.
  • Restaurants, cafeterias, dining establishments, food courts, bars, and similar businesses that continue to provide delivery and/or takeout services must limit occupancy at 10% of the stated maximum capacity whenever possible.

Additional Requirements for Non-Essential Retail Operating Curbside Pickup
Non-essential retail stores may reopen for online or phone ordering and curbside pickup at 6 a.m. on Monday, May 18, 2020. Non-essential retail businesses that open for curbside pickup must adopt the following social policies:

  • Customers can pick up goods outside of an establishment that they have already ordered but cannot enter the brick-and-mortar premises;
  • Where possible, limit in-store operations to those employees who are responsible for the operations required for curbside pickup;
  • Where possible, handle customer transactions in advance by phone, email, fax, or other means that avoid person-to-person contact;
  • Where possible, customers shall notify the retailer by text message, email, or phone once they arrive, or make best efforts to schedule their arrival time in advance. The customer shall be asked to remain in their vehicle, if arriving by car, until store staff delivers the purchase;
  • Where possible, designated employees shall bring goods outside of the retail establishment and place the goods directly in a customer's vehicle; and
  • For retail businesses operating in shopping malls, employees must bring the goods to customers at the exterior of the mall and place them directly in a customer's vehicle.

Additional Requirements for Outdoor Recreational Businesses

  • Limit capacity to 25 people at one time
  • Use electronic or telephone reservation and payment systems;
  • Prohibit impermissible gatherings;
  • Install physical barriers between employees and customers;
  • Limit the use of equipment to one person;
  • Implement social distancing measures in commonly used areas, including demarcation and signage;
  • Infection control and hygiene practices;
  • Provide sanitization materials to employees;
  • Frequent sanitization of high-touch areas; and
  • Limit occupancy of restrooms.

Sources: Social Distancing Guidance for Essential Retail Businesses; Executive Order No. 107; Executive Order No. 122; Executive Order No. 125; Executive Order 142