New Jersey

Updated: June 5, 2020



New Jersey’s Public Health Emergency was extended on June 4, 2020, and remains in effect until July 5, 2020. Nevertheless, the state has also started easing into Stage 1 of its reopening plan, which as of May 26, 2020, includes elective surgeries, nonessential construction, nonessential retail with curbside pickup, outdoor recreation, and beaches/boardwalks/lakeshores. Stage 2 of reopening is expected on or around June 15, 2020.



Executive Summary

The New Jersey Executive Order requires all citizens living within the State to stay at home except as allowed in the Order, and requires all brick-and-mortar premises of all non-essential retail businesses, except “Essential Retail Businesses,” to close to the public. All individuals in public must take proactive measures to ensure compliance with social distancing requirements.

Summary of Order

  • Issued on March 21, 2020, Effective as of March 21, 2020 at 9:00 pm.
  • All retail businesses and operations in the State, except Essential Retail Businesses, are required to close to the public.
  • Essential Retail Businesses include the following:
    • Grocery stores and farmer’s markets
  • Pharmacies (including medical marijuana dispensaries)
  • Medical supply stores
  • Retail functions of gas stations
  • Convenience stores
  • Ancillary stores with healthcare facilities
  • Hardware stores
  • Retail functions of banks
  • Laundromats and dry cleaners
  • Stores that principally sell supplies for children under five years’ old
  • Pet stores
  • Liquor stores
  • Car dealerships, but only to provide maintenance and repair services
  • Printing and office supply shops
  • Mail and delivery stores.
  • The State has not issued any guidance related to non-retail business except to say that they must take reasonable steps to minimize in-person workforces while implementing social distancing for on-site workers.
  • All recreational and entertainment businesses, including the following must close to the public:
    • Casinos
    • Racetracks
    • Gyms
    • Entertainment centers
    • Indoor portions of shopping malls
    • Place of public amusement
      • Water parks
      • Children’s play centers
      • Bowling alleys
      • Arcades
    • Personal care/grooming services

Social Distancing

  • When essential retail stores are open they must abide by social distancing practices to the extent practicable. This includes reasonable efforts to keep customers 6 feet apart and frequent use of sanitizing products on common surfaces.