Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order 163, Making Face Coverings Mandatory in Outdoor Public Spaces

Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order 163, Making Face Coverings Mandatory in Outdoor Public Spaces
As the number of COVID-19 cases in United States continue to increase, Governor Murphy has advocated for additional safeguards to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in outdoor settings. This is in addition to the 14-day quarantine travel advisory for individuals traveling to or returning to New Jersey from states with increasing rates of COVID-19 (currently 22 states). On Wednesday, July 8, 2020, Governor Murphy issued Executive Order 163, which sets forth the following requirements regarding the use of face coverings in outdoor and indoor public spaces, as well as guidance for outdoor and indoor business/sports operations.
 
Outdoor Public Spaces

Generally speaking, individuals must wear face coverings in outdoor public spaces where social distancing and maintaining a six-feet distance from others is impracticable. Exceptions include the following:
 
  • When individuals consist of immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners.
  • Where wearing face covering would inhibit the individual’s health, including:
  • Individuals engaged in high intensity aerobic or anaerobic workouts.
  • Individuals while in the water.
  • Individuals in other situations where the presence of a mask would pose a risk to the individual’s safety.
  • Children under two years of age.
  • Individuals eating or drinking at outdoor dining areas.
  • Individuals who need to briefly remove their face coverings for religious reasons.
 
Outdoor public spaces do not include child care centers, other child care facilities, and youth summer camps, which continue to be governed by Executive Order No. 149 and applicable standards issued by the Commissioner of the Department of Health (DOH).
 
Indoor Public Spaces
 
All individuals must continue to wear face coverings in indoor spaces that are accessible to members of the public, such as retail, recreational, and entertainment businesses, areas of government buildings open to the public, and mass transit buses, trains, and stations. Exceptions include the following:
 
  • Where wearing face covering would inhibit the individual’s health, including:
  • Individuals engaged in high intensity aerobic or anaerobic workouts.
  • Individuals while in the water.
  • Individuals in other situations where the presence of a mask would pose a risk to the individual’s safety.
  • Children under two years of age.
 
For indoor commercial spaces that are not open to members of the public, such as office buildings, those spaces must have policies that at a minimum, require individuals to wear face coverings when in prolonged proximity to others. This does not apply to child care centers, other child care facilities, and youth summer camps, which continue to be governed by Executive Order No. 149 and applicable standards issued by the Commissioner of the Department of Health (DOH).
 
Business/Sports Operations

Food or beverage establishments are now permitted to offer in-person services at outdoor areas, which are defined as open air spaces that either 1) have no roof or cover or 2) have a fixed roof or temporary or seasonal awning or cover, with at least two open sides that would comprise over 50 percent of the total wall space if the space were fully enclosed.

  • The definition of “outdoor areas” applies to recreational and entertainment businesses that open their outdoor premises to the public in accordance with the requirements of Paragraph 7 of Executive Order No. 157.
  • Practices and competitions for sports defined as “Low Risk” in the Department of Health’s “Guidance for Sports Activities” are permitted in both outdoor and indoor settings.
  • No-contact practices for sports defined as “High or Medium Risk” in the Department of Health’s “Guidance for Sports Activities” are permitted to resume in outdoor and indoor settings.
  • Contact practices and competitions for sports defined as “Medium Risk” in the Department of Health’s “Guidance for Sports Activities” are permitted to resume in outdoor settings only.
  • Contact practices and competitions for sports defined as “High Risk” in the Department of Health’s “Guidance for Sports Activities” remain prohibited in both indoor and outdoor settings. 
 
The Department of Health’s “Guidance for Sports Activities” can be found here.
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