On March 21, 2020, Governor Murphy signed Executive Orders 107 and 108 in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. Executive Order 107 essentially directs residents to remain home except when seeking essential services. This Executive order also defines essential services.
Of particular interest to our municipal clients is Executive Order 108, which limits local governments' ability to impose conflicting or more restrictive requirements on their businesses and residents. Executive Order 108 prohibits:
a. Any additions to or deletions from the list of retail businesses that the Governor deemed essential or that have been identified as essential through Administrative Orders authorized by the Governor's Executive Orders;
b. Any limitations imposed on any business's scope of service or hours of operation;
c. Any density or social distancing requirements;
d. Any orders relating to the gathering of individuals; and
e. general restrictions on the freedom of movement within that county or municipality, including but not limited to the imposition of curfews.
2. No municipality, county, or any other agency or political subdivision of this State shall enact or enforce any order, rule, regulation, ordinance, or resolution which will or might in any way conflict with any of the provisions of Executive Order No. 107 (2020), or which will or might in any way interfere with or impede its achievement, or the achievement of Administrative Orders issued as authorized by the Governor's Executive Orders.
3. Paragraphs 1 and 2 do not apply to the following categories of entities, over which municipalities or counties have the ability to impose additional restrictions in response to COVID-19 beyond the applicable provisions of Executive Order No. 107 (2020). The State Director of Emergency Management, who is the Superintendent of the State Police, shall have the discretion to make additions, amendments, clarifications, exceptions, and exclusions to this list:
a. Online marketplaces for arranging or offering lodging; or
b. Municipal or county parks.
4. This Order shall take effect on Saturday, March 21, 2020, at 9:00 p.m., and shall remain in effect until revoked or modified by the Governor.
We are all in this together. Please rest assured that Laddey, Clark & Ryan's Government Services Practice Group is here for our government clients, and will continue to keep you informed of new mandates and practices, and to answer your questions as we all work through this crisis.