New Jersey Tightens Restrictions on Outdoor Gatherings and Indoor Sports

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With New Jersey experiencing a second wave spike of COVID-19 infections and with holiday season gatherings upon us, on November 30, 2020 Governor Phil Murphy issued Executive Order 204 (“EO 204” or the “Order”) tightening restrictions on outdoor gatherings and pausing indoor practices and competitions for youth and adult sports.

Indoor Youth and Adult Sports

With limited exception, EO 204 prohibits youth and adult indoor sports practices, competitions, and other organized sporting activities from December 5, 2020 until January 2, 2012. The prohibition will not affect collegiate and professional sporting activities.  In addition, the Order permits private fitness classes, lessons, and trainings at gyms, studios and similar locations to continue.

Outdoor Gatherings

Beginning December 7 at 6:00 a.m. and continuing indefinitely, EO 204 lowers the outdoor gatherings limit from 150 people to 25 people. The Order exempts wedding ceremonies, funerals, memorial services, and religious and political activities from the outdoor gatherings limit. In addition, the Order exempts athletes, coaches, referees and other individuals necessary for a professional or collegiate sports competition from being counted towards the 25-person limit.

For other adult and youth sports occurring outdoors, the number of individuals necessary for a game or practice can exceed the 25-person limit, but only if there are no unnecessary individuals (e.g., spectators) present.

In accordance with Gov. Murphy’s Executive Order Nos. 152 and 161, persons attending outdoor gatherings must continue to follow social distancing restrictions, including the requirement to wear masks whenever it is not possible to socially distance.

Addiction Support Groups

EO 204 modifies the restriction on indoor meetings of addiction groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, which was previously limited to 10 individuals.  Such gatherings will now be limited to 25 percent of the capacity of the room in which they take place, to a maximum of 150 individuals. The new limits become effective December 7 at 6:00 a.m. and will continue indefinitely.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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