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Are people allowed to gather in person?

Last Updated: 08/03/2020

Yes, attending a gathering, ceremony, or celebration is permitted as long as the event complies with the following limits on gatherings.

Indoor gatherings must be limited to 25 people or 25% of a room's capacity -- whichever number is lower. All attendees at indoor gatherings must wear face coverings and stay six feet apart.

The indoor limit on gatherings for weddings, funerals, memorial services, and religious and political activities protected under the First Amendment is 100 people or 25% of a room's capacity -- whichever number is lower.

Outdoor gatherings must be limited to 500 people and social distancing must be practiced. There are no limits for First Amendment-protected outdoor activities, such as political protests of any persuasion or outdoor religious services.

To save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19, wear a mask, wash your hands, practice social distancing, and stay home if you are sick.

Face coverings are required in indoor public spaces and in outdoor public spaces when social distancing is difficult to maintain.

Additional requirements for outdoor gatherings include the following:

  • Require attendees to be six feet apart at all times, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners;
  • Prohibit contact between attendees;
  • If the event is an organized gathering, the organizer should demarcate six feet of spacing in the area of the gathering to demonstrate appropriate spacing for social distancing;
  • Prohibit sharing of any physical items provided and require sanitization before and after each use; and
  • Require contactless pay options wherever feasible.

For more information, refer to section 2 of Executive Order No. 152.

Safety Tips For Gatherings

During this difficult time, we understand everyone wants to spend time with family and friends. To ensure we don't inadvertently spread COVID-19 and needlessly put our loved ones at risk, the NJ Department of Health has offered some safety tips that can help reduce the risk of transmission when we gather in-person.

  • Remind invited guests to stay home if they have been exposed to the virus in the last 14 days, are showing COVID-19 symptoms, or recently travelled to an area or a state with high COVID-19 infection rates.
  • Ask guests to wear face coverings when they cannot social distance.
  • Make hand sanitizer available for guests.
  • Limit the number of people handling or serving food—for example, consider identifying one person to serve all food so that multiple people are not handling the serving utensils.
  • Remind guests to wash their hands before serving or eating food.
  • Use single-use hand towels or paper towels for drying hands so guests do not share a towel.
  • Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and any shared items between use when feasible.
  • Consider keeping a list of guests who attended for potential future contract tracing needs. If you are called by a contact tracer, it's critical that you answer the call to protect us all. Your help is the key to stopping the spread of COVID-19 and saving lives.

Source: Executive Order No. 142; Executive Order No. 148; Governor's Remarks; Executive Order No. 152; Executive Order No. 156; Executive Order No. 161; Commissioner Persichilli's Remarks 7/29/20; Executive Order No. 173