New Jersey starts to re-open for business

Cyril Josh Barker | 5/21/2020, midnight
Taking the first steps to reopening, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is permitting the resumption of non-essential construction, curbside pickup ...
Small business/open sign Photo by Mike Petrucci on Unsplash

Taking the first steps to reopening, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is permitting the resumption of non-essential construction, curbside pickup at non-essential retail businesses, and car gatherings for the purpose of drive-through and drive-in events.

The construction and non-essential retail provisions took effect on Monday, May 18 while the car gatherings provision took effect immediately.

“I’ve been clear that data will determine dates, and what we are seeing gives us confidence that we can begin the careful restart of our economy,” said Murphy. “Over the past eight weeks, New Jerseyans have taken our stay-at-home order seriously and have created the conditions that make this next phase possible. The steps we are taking allow for important standards of social distancing to continue with the return of safe, responsible business operations.”

Non-essential retail businesses can do curbside pickup but businesses must continue to have their in-store operations closed to customers. Businesses who choose to offer curbside pickup must abide by the requirements in the order including, following social distancing guidelines, face coverings for workers and handling customer transactions through phone, text or email in advance.

One North Jersey retail worker told the AmNews he's glad to be back at work after being furloughed for almost two months.

"I feel thankful and happy to get the call to get back to work, happy that things seem to be trending back to some sort of normalcy and thankful that I have a job to go back to," he said.

Murphy unveiled a multi-stage approach to execute the state’s economic restart to put New Jersey on the road back to recovery from COVID-19. The multi-stage blueprint, guided by the Governor’s Restart and Recovery Commission and complementary Advisory Councils, plans for reopening of businesses and activities based on level of disease transmission risk and essential classification.

“Through our combined efforts, we have flattened the curve of COVID-19 cases, and we are well-positioned to continue our restart and recovery process,” said Murphy. “Our multi-stage approach uses science, data, and facts to determine which businesses and activities can reopen according to their risk level and challenges they face to safeguard public health. Additionally, we will be guided by our ability to protect against a new COVID-19 outbreak with expanded testing and contact tracing, and clear social distancing safeguards in place.”