New Jersey is gearing up to enter the second stage of its economic restart and recovery following the COVID-19 lockdown, officials said Monday.
Beginning Monday, June 15, nonessential retail stores and outdoor dining can reopen, Gov. Phil Murphy said. Salons and barbershops will reopen on Monday, June 22. Gyms and health clubs, also included in Stage 2, will be the next to reopen at reduced capacity, with a hard date to come.
Stage 3 includes expanded dining, critical in-office work, limited entertainment, expanded personal care, bars with limited capacity, expanded gyms with restrictions.
"Just because the calendar says June 15th doesn’t mean that everyone should just go back to what they were doing pre-COVID.
"Let’s use common sense for the common good. Only a successful Stage 2 can get us to Stage 3."
Stresses on the hospital system have significantly lessened, and the state's testing capabilities have greatly increased. At least 20,000 tests can be performed daily. Contact tracing programs are being built up on the hundreds currently on the ground across New Jersey, which leads the nation in public testing abilities.
Murphy has been slowly loosening the restrictions put in place two months ago to stop the spread of coronavirus. The governor last week announced dates for reopening child care, day camps and organized outdoor sports.
"All nine million New Jerseyans have been overwhelmingly diligent, smart, and practical about how to act in these unchartered waters," Murphy said.
"A new principle that should guide us as we move forward: Common sense for the common good. When each of us is responsible, all of us do better."
This is a developing story. Check back for more.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.