Governor: more businesses may reopen, a hold on visitors, and plans for school in September

Governor Phil Murphy released plans to open New Jersey quite a bit further starting this week, however one aspect – indoor dining – already has been paused.

“As we enter into the latter phases of stage two of our restart, we ask New Jerseyans to continue to answer the call of personal responsibility that has gotten us this far,” Governor Murphy said last week. “We have been actively working up to this point for weeks and are confident that the health metrics we needed to see are in place.”

On Thursday libraries, museums, aquariums, and public and private social clubs, and playgrounds may reopen. They must limit indoor seating to 25 percent capacity and are held to many of the same requirements previously required of retail businesses. Gyms and fitness centers, movie theaters, performing arts centers, other concert venues, and indoor amusement and water parks remain closed; however, customers may use gyms with a private trainer by appointment.

The plan for indoor dining, announced last week as being able to start on Thursday, was paused yesterday because the Governor said he had become concerned about complacent behavior in other states and at some New Jersey outdoor restaurants and bars. On his Facebook page, he said: “Overcrowding. A complete disregard for social distancing. Very few, if any, face coverings. The scenes we see in our newspapers and on social media cannot continue.”

Last week, Murphy,  Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, and Governor Ned Lamont of Connecticut announced a joint incoming travel advisory stating that any visitors to our region from states highly-impacted by COVID-19 should self-quarantine for 14 days.

New Jersey Transit rail and light rail service will return to its full weekday schedule on Monday, July 6. 

The Governor also has announced  “The Road Back: Restart and Recovery Plan for Education,” which is the Governor’s guide to reopening schools.  He said that school reopenings must prioritize: social distancing, face coverings, limited capacity, and cleaning/disinfecting

In a Facebook post, the Hopewell Valley Regional School District posted:

“Last Friday, the State of New Jersey released guidelines for schools to reopen in September. As I have shared previously, our district committee has been planning for our reopening for the past two months. These guidelines will help us to finalize our plans. An update on our planning was shared earlier this month.

“If you have not already done so, please complete this Return to School Planning Survey. The survey closes on June 30 at 5:00 pm.

“The results of this initial survey will help us to understand your comfort level with your child(ren) returning to school, your willingness to transport your own child(ren) to school (as needed), and to note your preferences regarding various return to school scenarios. Your input is critical to this process as it will guide our decision making. With your feedback, and using the guidelines provided, we aim to support the health and well being of all students and staff and to ensure that preparations are made in an efficient and cost effective manner.

“Once we have concluded our deliberations and have taken into account the most up-to-date information from state and local government agencies, we will share our finalized plan and provide another opportunity for input.”


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