On November 16, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy announced he intends to sign a new executive order reducing the number of people permitted at both indoor and outdoor events. In a separate announcement, the New Jersey Supreme Court suspended jury trials and in-person grand jury proceedings.
Under the new restrictions, limits on indoor gatherings will be reduced from 25 people to 10. Limits on outdoor gatherings will be reduced from 500 people to 150. The current limit on other types of indoor activities, including dining, will remain at 25% of capacity.
New Jersey plans to continue taking an active role in enforcement, including both public and private settings. Governor Murphy said non-compliant businesses could face penalties, such as revocation of liquor licenses or even closures.
Governor Murphy also said he reserves the right to enact a full-scale lockdown, similar to the one he enacted in March.
These are not the first new restrictions announced in New Jersey in recent weeks. Other recent executive orders include, but are not limited to, closing all indoor dining between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., and an executive order allowing local governments to close non-essential businesses at 8 p.m. Indoor interstate athletic events have been prohibited.
Effective November 5, 2020, New Jersey issued important new requirements for employers. In addition to increased cleaning and distancing protocols, this executive order created whistleblower mechanisms for employees to report non-compliant businesses. Enforcement mechanisms range from fines to business closures.
It is important for businesses and employers to stay informed about the latest guidance as the situation continues to evolve. New Jersey’s COVID-19 business information hub contains frequently updated information and guidance for employers on the latest restrictions.
The Coronavirus Task Force at Klehr Harrison stands ready to assist you in your business and legal needs. We will continue to provide additional information and guidance as the COVID-19 situation develops.
Author Patrick McKnight is an associate in the Litigation Department at Klehr Harrison.