Update:  On August 3, 2020, Gov. Murphy signed Executive Order 173 retightening  restrictions on permissible indoor gatherings to 25%  of a room’s capacity, with a maximum of 25 individuals.  The new limit does not apply to weddings, funerals, memorial services and religious and political activities protected under the first amendment. These gatherings will remain to 25% capacity and 100 maximum attendance.

On June 22, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued Executive Order 156  (“EO 156”), which, effective immediately, increases the permissible number of attendees at indoor and outdoor gatherings from the limits he established in Executive Order 152  (“EO 152”) (which we wrote about here).

Specifically, pursuant to EO 156:

  • For indoor gatherings, the number of individuals shall be limited to 25% of the capacity of the room in which it takes place, “but regardless of the capacity of the room, such limit shall never be larger than 100 persons or smaller than 10 persons”; The “smaller than 10 persons” language, which was also used in EO 152, seems intended to permit indoor gatherings of 9 or fewer persons, regardless of room size).
  • For outdoor gatherings, the number of individuals shall be limited to 250 persons or fewer.

All other requirements for indoor and outdoor gatherings contained in EO 152 (e.g. face coverings, social distancing, contactless payment options, no sharing of equipment other than by family) remain in effect. In addition,  EO 156 states that the requirements in prior Executive or Administrative Orders or agency directives regarding gathering limits are amended to reflect the rules on gatherings stated in EO 156, including, for example, the limit on occupancy on personal care premises, which was subject to the indoor gathering limit under Division of Consumer Affairs Administrative Order No. 2020-09 (which we wrote about here).

EO 156 also clarifies that for purposes of prior Executive Order 150 (concerning outdoor dining, which we wrote about here), “outdoor areas shall be defined as open air spaces without a fixed roof, besides a temporary or seasonal awning or cover.”