Governor Murphy Announces Statewide Stay at Home Order, Closure of All Non-Essential Retail Businesses

On March 21, New Jersey Governor Phil  Murphy  directed by Executive Order,  all resident to stay at home until further notice and to close all non-essential retail businesses to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

The Order continues existing bans on recreational and entertainment businesses, requirements that all restaurants operate by delivery and takeout only, and the directive that all pre-K, elementary, and secondary schools close and all institutions of higher education cease in-person instruction.

 Essential services  were deemed:  Grocery stores, farmer’s markets and farms that sell directly to customers, and other food stores, including retailers that offer a varied assortment of foods comparable to what exists at a grocery store; Pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries; Medical supply stores; Gas stations; Convenience stores; Ancillary stores within healthcare facilities; Hardware and home improvement stores; Banks and other financial institutions; Laundromats and dry-cleaning services; Stores that principally sell supplies for children under five years; Pet stores; Liquor stores; Car dealerships, but only for auto maintenance and repair, and auto mechanics; Printing and office supply shops; Mail and delivery stores.

He said during his live broadcast speech that he was restricting traffic to 24 hours a day instead of from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., wanting everyone off the roads, as he had directed earlier in the week but a clarification was later given.

The clarification statement from The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management stated that the current COVID-19 response does not include a travel restriction. Essential Employee Credentialing is only recommended when a travel restriction is set in place per Executive or Administrative Order (example: snow storm). An Essential Employee Credential is not required at this time.

Murphy did prohibited all parties and celebrations such as weddings and funerals. “When in public, individuals must practice social distancing and stay at least six feet apart whenever possible, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners,” stated a press release from Murphy.

Governor Murphy also signed Executive Order No. 108, which invalidates any county or municipal restriction that in conflicts with any of the provisions of Executive Order No. 107.

by Karen E. Viereck, Editor/Publisher

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