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Are golf courses, arcades, batting cages, shooting ranges, arts and crafts studios, dance studios, music lessons, and other art and recreational facilities open? What rules or safety guidance must they follow?

Last Updated: 10/28/2020

Note: Beginning November 5, employers must adhere to new employee protection guidelines, summarized here. Detailed requirements, as well as exemptions for certain employers, can be found in Executive Order No. 192.

All recreational businesses may reopen their entire premises, whether indoor or outdoor. Indoor spaces must be limited to 25 percent of their capacity. These businesses include, but are not limited to:

  • Arcades
  • Archery ranges
  • Arts and crafts studios (e.g., painting, ceramics)
  • Batting cages
  • Bowling alleys
  • Dance studios
  • Golf courses
  • Golf driving ranges
  • Gymnastics
  • Martial arts studios
  • Mini golf
  • Music lessons
  • Shooting ranges
  • Tennis clubs and indoor tennis
  • Theater programs
  • Yoga studios

Recreational businesses that open indoor and outdoor spaces must follow the mitigation requirements detailed in sections 7 of page 13 of Executive Order No. 157, Executive Order No. 158, and the Health Department's Guidance for Sports, which are summarized below.

Recreational businesses that offer indoor fitness classes and activities must follow the Department of Health's Guidance for Health Clubs/Gyms/Fitness Centers.

Establishments that serve food indoors must comply with the safety protocols detailed in Executive Order No. 183 and the Department of Health's Health and Safety Standards for Indoor Dining.

Locations providing remote-learning supervision services for children during the school day must be licensed as child-care centers. The Department of Children and Families has created emergency regulations for these facilities to undergo an expedited licensure process. Existing facilities wishing to continue operating are required to submit an application for licensure to NJ DCF no later than October 23, 2020. Detailed instructions on how to apply can be found in DCF's FAQ along with links to the application and attestation form. For additional questions, contact DCF's Office of Licensing at 1-877-667-9845 or dcf_ool@dcf.nj.gov.

NOTE: Arcades must adhere to additional safety requirements as outlined in the Department of Health's Executive Directive 20-023 including screening all guests, visitors, and employees for illness upon entry. Refer to the Executive Directive for a full list of required safety measures.

What To Expect

The following summarizes some of the protocols contained in EO 157, EO 158, and DOH's Guidance for Sports. However, this summary is not a replacement for fully complying with the terms of EO 157, EO 158, and DOH's Guidance for Sports, and businesses should read the full guidance carefully to ensure full compliance.

Businesses must institute the following policies for indoor and outdoor spaces:

  • Limit total capacity of any outdoor area to a number that ensures that all individuals can remain six feet apart.
  • Limit the number of patrons in any indoor premises to 25 percent capacity – excluding employees.
  • Require workers and customers to wear face coverings while indoors and in outdoor areas when social distancing is difficult to maintain, except where doing so would inhibit that individual's health.
  • If a customer refuses to wear a face covering for non-medical reasons then the business must decline the individual entry into the indoor premises.
  • Indoor recreational facilities, such as martial arts studios, may hold contact practices and competitions. All indoor practices and competitions are limited to 25% of the capacity of the room, but no more than 25 people. If the number of individuals who are necessary for practice or competition exceeds 25, the practice or competition may proceed if no unnecessary individuals such as spectators are present. Even if this exception applies, the number of individuals at the practice or competition cannot exceed 25% of the capacity of the room, and such limit cannot exceed 150 persons. For more details on requirements, refer to Executive Order No. 187 and the Department of Health's Guidance for Sports Activities.
  • Limit occupancy in restrooms that remain open to avoid over-crowding and maintain social distancing through signage and, where practicable, the utilization of attendants to monitor capacity.
  • Limit the use of equipment rented or otherwise provided by the business to one person at a time.
  • Provide sanitization materials, such as hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes, to customers
  • Require reservations, cancellations and prepayments be made via electronic or telephone reservation systems to limit physical interactions.
  • Per Executive Order No. 183, smoking, including vaping, is permitted indoors only when otherwise permitted by State law.

Additional Guidance For Indoor Fitness Classes and Activities

The following summarizes some of the protocols contained in the Department of Health's guidance for health clubs/gyms/fitness centers.

However, this summary is not a replacement for fully complying with the terms of the Department of Health's guidance for health clubs/gyms/fitness centers, and businesses should read the full guidance carefully to ensure full compliance.

Establishments that offer indoor fitness classes and activities must institute the following policies:

  • Limit occupancy of any indoor premises to 25 percent of the stated maximum capacity, if applicable, at one time, excluding staff.
  • In addition to capacity restrictions, indoor group activities (e.g., classes) can occur but must limit to no more 1 individual per 200 square feet of accessible space or less, AND all individuals must be able to maintain a minimum of 6 feet of distance from other individuals during the entire class.
  • Conduct a temperature screening and questionnaire of staff and clients upon entrance to the facility.
  • If individuals attending outdoor classes enter the center premises, whether to use a restroom or otherwise, they must be included in the capacity limit indicated above.
  • Require workers and customers to wear face coverings while in the indoor portion of the premises, except where doing so would inhibit that individual's health or where the individual is under two years of age.
  • If a customer refuses to wear a face covering for non-medical reasons and if such covering cannot be provided to the individual by the business at the point of entry, then the business must decline the individual entry into the indoor premises.
  • One-on-one personal training can occur assuming 6 feet of distance can be maintained for the majority of the training session.
  • Individual or pair activities which do not involve contact (e.g., racket ball, handball) can also occur.
  • Keep doors and windows open where possible and utilize fans to improve ventilation.
  • Inspect and evaluate the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit to ensure that the system is operating within its design specifications
  • Shared saunas and steam rooms are not permitted.

Guidance For Employees

Recreational businesses must impose the following requirements on employees:

  • Require employees with symptoms of COVID-19 be sent home
  • Require all employees to wear face coverings while indoors, except where doing so would inhibit the individual's health
  • Provide all employees with face coverings free of charge
  • Businesses may adopt policies that require staff to wear gloves, in addition to regular hand hygiene. Where a business requires its staff to wear gloves while at the worksite, the business must provide such gloves to staff.
  • Provide employees break time for repeated handwashing throughout the workday
  • Provide sanitization materials, such as hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes to staff

Source: Executive Order No. 153; Executive Order No. 156; Executive Order No. 157; Executive Order No. 158; Executive Directive 20-023; DOH Guidance for Sports; DOH Guidance for Health Clubs/Gyms/Fitness Centers; Executive Order No. 181