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When and how is New Jersey lifting restrictions? What does a responsible and strategic restart of New Jersey’s economy look like?

Last Updated: 05/03/2021

On May 18, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy unveiled a multi-stage approach to execute the responsible and strategic economic restart to put New Jersey on the road back to recovery from COVID-19. New Jersey's process for lifting restrictions is guided by six principles and key metrics.

New Jersey will enter new stages based on data that demonstrates improvements in public health and the capacity to safeguard the public. The restart will be phased-in within each stage, rather than opening all businesses and activities at once within a stage.

New Jersey entered Stage 2 on June 15, 2020.

Multi-Stage Approach to Execute a Responsible and Strategic Economic Restart

Under maximum restrictions, New Jerseyans stayed at home as much possible and activity was limited to essential tasks.

Permitted activities and businesses included emergency health care, essential construction, manufacturing, and essential retail, including grocery stores and pharmacies.

Stage One

In Stage One, restrictions are relaxed on low-risk activities.

Stage Two (New Jersey is currently in Stage Two)

In Stage Two, moderate-risk activities restart. When leaving home, New Jerseyans should wear a face covering and keep a social distance from others. All workers who can work from home should continue to work from home.

Stage Three:

In Stage Three, higher-contact activities restart with significant safeguarding. New Jerseyans follow all safety guidelines and respect social distancing.

Phased-in businesses and activities, with adherence to safeguarding and modification guidelines, may include:

  • Expanded dining,
  • Limited entertainment,
  • Expanded personal care,
  • Bars with limited capacity.

Precautions that apply across all stages include:

  • Work that can be done from home should continue to be done from home.
  • Clinically high-risk individuals who can stay at home should continue to do so.
  • All residents and businesses should follow state and federal safeguarding guidelines: wash hands; wear masks in public; respect social distancing; minimize gatherings; disinfect workplace and businesses; and no mass gatherings

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