Governor Murphy Announces Statewide Stay at Home Order, Closure of All Non-Essential Retail Businesses


Order Also Prohibits All Social Gatherings, Mandates Work From Home Arrangements for Employees When Possible, and Invalidates Any Conflicting Local and County Regulations

To mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and protect the capacity of New Jersey’s health care system for the state’s most vulnerable, Governor Phil Murphy on March 21 signed Executive Order No. 107 and Executive Order 108, directing all residents to stay at home until further notice. The order provides for certain exceptions, such as obtaining essential goods or services, seeking medical attention, visiting family or close friends, reporting to work, or engaging in outdoor activities.


“From day one, we’ve made a commitment to be guided by the facts and take any action necessary to protect the health and safety of New Jersey’s nine million residents,” said Governor Murphy. “We know the virus spreads through person-to person contact, and the best way to prevent further exposure is to limit our public interactions to only the most essential purposes. This is a time for us all to come together in one mission to ‘flatten the curve’ and slow – and eventually halt – the spread of coronavirus.”


In effort to strengthen the existing social distancing measures in place, the order also prohibits all gatherings of individuals, such as parties, celebrations, or other social events, unless otherwise authorized by the Order. When in public, individuals must practice social distancing and stay at least six feet apart whenever possible, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners.


Effective on Saturday, March 21, 2020,  at 9:00 p.m., the new standards for businesses are:

1. Gatherings of individuals, such as parties, celebrations, or other social events, are cancelled unless explicitly authorized by Executive Order 107 (CDC guidance defines a gathering to include conferences, large meetings, parties, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies).

2. Non-essential retail businesses must close storefront and/or brick-and-mortar premises operations until further notice.

3. All recreational and entertainment businesses must close to the public, including:

•         Casinos;

•         Racetracks;

•         Gyms and fitness centers;

•         Entertainment centers (movie theaters, performing arts centers, concert venues, and nightclubs)

•         Indoor portions of retail shopping malls and places of public amusement.

Please note that business may continue any on-line operations.

4. Personal-care businesses that by their very nature result in noncompliance with social distance must remain closed, including:

•         Barbershops;

•         Hair salons;

•         Spas;

•         Nail and eyelash salons;

•         Tattoo parlors;

•         Massage parlors;

•         Tanning salons;

•         Public and private social clubs.

5. Bars and restaurants in New Jersey must be closed for on-premise service. They  may provide take-out and delivery service only. Drive-throughs, take-out, and delivery offered by restaurants, and other delivery services can continue to operate.

6. Certain essential businesses and facilities are considered exempt from these closures:

•         Grocery stores;

•         Pharmacies;

•         Medical marijuana dispensaries;

•         Medical supply stores;

•         Gas stations;

•         Convenience stores;

•         Ancillary stores within healthcare facilities;

•         Hardware and home improvement stores;

•         Vehicle rental locations;

•         Banks and other financial institutions with retail functions;

•         Laundromats and dry-cleaning services;

•         Stores that principally sell supplies for children under five years;

•         Pet stores and veterinary service locations;

•         Car dealerships (**only for auto maintenance and repair, and auto mechanics**);

•         Printing and office supply shops;

•         Mail and delivery stores;

•         Liquor stores.

7. All businesses or non-profits must accommodate their workforce for telework or work from home arrangements wherever practicable.

8. To the extent businesses have employees who need to be on-site, they should operate with the minimal number of on-site employees as possible. That includes:

•         Cashiers or store clerks,

•         Construction workers, utility workers, or repair workers

•         Warehouse workers

•         Lab researchers

•         IT maintenance workers

•         Janitorial and custodial staff

•         Certain administrative staff

9. Manufacturing, industrial, logistics, ports, heavy construction, shipping, food production, food delivery, and other commercial operations may continue operating, but should limit staff on-site to the minimal number for continuing essential operations.

10. Medical facilities may continue to operate, including any facility where a sick or injured person is given care or treatment, such as:

•         Doctor’s offices

•         Hospitals

•         Dentist offices

•         Long-term care facilities

•         Other medical offices.

11. Employees reporting to work are permitted to travel to and from their place of business.

12. Businesses are encouraged to give each employee a letter indicating that the employee works in an industry permitted to continue operation.

For additional information on COVID-19/Novel Coronavirus and its impact on businesses, please visit the State of New Jersey business portal at

Visit for updates and information on Union County services cancelled or modified due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

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