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What businesses are closed? What is considered essential?

Last Updated: 05/22/2020

To slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives, recreational and entertainment businesses are closed, non-essential retail stores are limited to curbside pickup, and all other businesses must follow appropriate mitigation requirements.

BUSINESSES REQUIRED TO CLOSE

Recreational and Entertainment Businesses: Recreational and entertainment businesses must close. These include:

  • Casino gaming floors, including retail sports wagering lounges, and casino concert and entertainment venues;
  • Gyms and fitness centers and classes;
  • Entertainment centers, including but not limited to, movie theaters, performing arts centers, other concert venues, and nightclubs;
  • All indoor portions of retail shopping malls. Restaurants and other stores located within shopping malls that have their own external entrances open to the public may continue offering only food delivery and/or take-out services.
  • All places of public amusement, whether indoors or outdoors, including but not limited to, locations with amusement parks, water parks, aquariums, zoos, arcades, fairs, children's play centers, funplexes, theme parks, bowling alleys, family and children's attractions;
  • All municipal, county, and State public libraries, and all libraries and computer labs at public and private colleges and universities;
  • Barbershops and hair salons - barbershops and hair salons can reopen on June 22.
  • Spas;
  • Nail and eyelash salons;
  • Tattoo parlors;
  • Massage parlors;
  • Tanning salons;
  • Public and private social clubs; and
  • All other personal-care businesses that by their very nature result in noncompliance with social distancing, excluding any health facilities that provide medically necessary or therapeutic services.

Certain outdoor activities at recreational businesses may reopen with required social distancing measures in place and a capacity constrain of 25 individuals. These businesses include archery ranges, batting cages, golf driving ranges, horseback riding, shooting ranges, and tennis clubs. For more information on the required social distancing measures refer to this article or Executive Orders No. 147 and No. 148.

Gatherings of vehicles, such as drive-in movies or religious services, are allowed, so long as all participants remain in their cars.

Recreational and entertainment activities prohibited under Executive Order No. 107 are also prohibited from taking place within the brick-and-mortar premises of essential retail businesses that are permitted to remain open as well as within the facilities of public, private, and parochial preschool programs, or elementary and secondary schools, including charter and renaissance schools that remain closed to students.

BUSINESSES ALLOWED TO REMAIN OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Essential retail businesses which are allowed to remain open to the public, while following required mitigation requirements are:

  • Grocery stores and any stores that sell food;
  • Pharmacies and 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, pet groomers, pet daycare, and pet boarding businesses;
  • Liquor stores;
  • Car, motorcycle, and boat dealerships (visits including sales by appointment only);
  • Auto mechanics
  • Printing and office supply shops;
  • Mail and delivery stores;
  • Bars and restaurants for drive-through, delivery, and takeout only – beginning June 15, restaurants will be allowed to open for outdoor dining;
  • Mobile phone retail and repair shops;
  • Bicycle shops;
  • Livestock feed stores;
  • Nurseries and garden centers;
  • Farming equipment stores;
  • Child care centers, but only for children of essential worker - child care centers will be allowed to reopen their doors to all clients effective Monday, June 15, while following appropriate health and safety standards;
  • Realtors, but only to show houses 1-on-1 (open houses are prohibited);
  • Firearms retailers, by appointment only and during limited hours;
  • Microbreweries or brewpubs for home delivery only;
  • Stores which principally sell items necessary for religious observation or worship

Golf Courses may open so long as they adopt minimum social distancing policies.

Outdoor Recreational Areas: Certain outdoor activities at recreational businesses may reopen with required social distancing measures in place and a capacity constrain of 25 individuals. These businesses include archery ranges, batting cages, golf driving ranges, horseback riding, shooting ranges, and tennis clubs. For more information on the required social distancing measures refer to this article or Executive Orders No. 147 and No. 148.

All-terrain vehicle and dirt bike rental businesses may reopen to the public for "curb-side" pickup. Such businesses must comply with the same restrictions required for non-essential retail businesses.

Horse racing can resume. Fans will not be allowed into racetrack grandstands.

Non-Essential Retail: All retail businesses not considered "essential" can open for online or phone ordering and curbside pickup, while following all appropriate mitigation requirements. Delivery and online operations of retail businesses may continue. Beginning June 15, customers will be allowed in stores.

Construction may continue. Construction projects must follow appropriate mitigation requirements.

Barber shops and hair salons may reopen June 22, while following appropriate mitigation requirements.

All other non-retail businesses may stay open, but must accommodate their workforce, wherever practicable, for telework or work-from-home arrangements and must abide by enhanced mitigation requirements.

Simply put, people should not be outside of their home unless they absolutely need to be. For example, professional service firms -- such as law firms, accounting firms, etc. -- may continue to operate, but must accommodate their employees working from home. If a business or nonprofit has employees that must be on site, it must reduce staff on site to the minimal number necessary to ensure critical operations can continue.

Examples of employees who need to be present at their work site in order to perform their job duties include, but are not limited to:

  • law enforcement officers
  • fire fighters
  • other first responders
  • cashiers or store clerks
  • construction workers
  • utility workers
  • repair workers
  • warehouse workers
  • lab researchers
  • IT maintenance workers
  • janitorial and custodial staff
  • certain administrative staff

Nothing in the stay-at-home guidelines limits:

  1. the provision of health care or medical services
  2. access to essential services for low-income residents, such as food banks
  3. the operations of the media
  4. law enforcement agencies
  5. the operations of the federal government.

For additional information on COVID-19/Novel Coronavirus and its impact on businesses, please visit the State of New Jersey's COVID-19 Business Information Hub.

Sources: Executive Order 107; Executive Order 108; Administrative Order 2020-4; Administrative Order 2020-5; Executive Order 110; Administrative Order 2020-6; Special Ruling 2020-01; Administrative Order 2020-8; Executive Order 122; Executive Order 125; Administrative Order 2020-10; Executive Order 133; Administrative Order 2020-12; Executive Order 142; Executive Orders 147; Executive Order 148