More people will be able to attend New Jersey Devils games, more indoor music and entertainment venues can open, more people can go to indoor catered events — and more people can gather together outdoors. All of this begins Friday morning, according to executive orders Gov. Phil Murphy signed Monday.
Here’s a deeper dive into these orders:
Increased capacity outdoors: The general gathering limit will increase to 200 people, Murphy said.
Religious services, political activities, weddings, funerals and memorial services occurring outdoors will continue to be uncapped.
“The reason we are increasing the outdoor limit is that, as the weather getting warmer, we are urging everyone to engage in social activities outside whenever possible,” Murphy said. “We know this virus is many times more transmissible indoors than it is outdoors, so any type of larger gathering is safer for everyone if it can be held outside.
Increased capacity at large venues indoors — and new definition of “large”: Murphy announced the state is reducing the definition of a “large venue” from 5,000 to 2,500 — which allow more facilities to be included. He then increased the capacity from 10% to 20% indoors. This means the number of people who can attend a Devils game just doubled.
Murphy also increased capacity from 15% to 30% outdoors.
“Based on discussions with our large venues, we know that, at 20% capacity, our venues can still ensure that all groups remain 6 feet apart in all directions,” he said. “This means we can safely take this step and welcome more fans into our arenas.”
Increased capacity at banquet halls: All banquet halls and similar venues can host indoor celebrations and other private events at 35% of the room’s capacity, up to 150 persons. This will align catered events with the capacity limitations for indoor wedding receptions.
The general indoor gathering limit will remain at 25 people.
Other notes from Monday’s COVID-19 briefing:
4 million vaccine shots given
The state’s COVID-19 dashboard said the state has now administered 4,030,061 shots. Murphy said the six megasites — in Rockaway Township, the Meadowlands, Edison, Moorestown, Gloucester County and Atlantic City — and Community-Based Vaccination Sites will this week collectively surpass the milestone of 1 million doses administered, Murphy said.
Now, across the state, 1,473,409 individuals are fully vaccinated through the efforts of the staffs at megasites and at hundreds of other points of distribution up and down New Jersey.
More Jerseyans eligible
Murphy said the state is expanding those eligible for vaccines Monday.
The expansion covers frontline essential workers in the restaurant, agriculture, and food processing and distribution industries, including grocery personnel, remaining elder care workers, warehouse workers, social services support staff, elections workers, hospitality workers, medical supply chain workers, postal and other shipping workers, clergy and workers in the judicial system.