NJ Governor’s Order For Statewide Closure of All Non-Essential Retail and Other Businesses-UPDATED

To All Our Clients, Friends and Colleagues:

Many of you have asked us for a copy of the Executive Order from NJ Governor Murphy with the current limitations on business and travel in NJ. You can find EO 107 at https://nj.gov/infobank/eo/056murphy/pdf/EO-107.pdf.

EO 107 took effect on Saturday, March 21, 2020 at 9:00pm, and remains in effect until further notice. The order imposes significant restrictions on when people can be outside of their homes, but does not require residents to shelter in place. It also imposes significant restrictions on most, but not all, businesses in our state.

EO 107 provides that New Jersey residents must remain home unless they are:

  1. obtaining goods or services from Essential Retail Businesses, as listed below;
  2. obtaining takeout food or beverages from restaurants, other dining establishments, or food courts;
  3. seeking medical attention, essential social services, or assistance from law enforcement or emergency services;
  4. visiting family or other individuals with whom the resident has a close personal relationship, such as those for whom the individual is a caretaker or romantic partner;
  5. reporting to, or performing, their job;
  6. walking, running, operating a wheelchair, or engaging in outdoor activities with immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners while following best social distancing practices with other individuals, including staying six feet apart;
  7. leaving the home for educational, religious, or political reasons;
  8. leaving because of a reasonable fear for his or her health or safety; or
  9. leaving at the direction of law enforcement or other government agency.

EO 107 also provides that:

  • All “[g]atherings of individuals, such as parties, celebrations, or other social events, are cancelled.”
  • All non-essential retail businesses must close their brick-and-mortar premises to the public. Essential Retail Businesses may remain open.

Pursuant to the Order, Essential Retail Businesses are:

  1. Grocery stores, farmer’s markets and farms that sell directly to customers, and other food stores, including retailers that offer a varied assortment of foods comparable to what exists at a grocery store;
  2. Pharmacies and alternative treatment centers that dispense medicinal marijuana;
  3. Medical supply stores;
  4. Retail functions of gas stations;
  5. Convenience stores;
  6. Ancillary stores within healthcare facilities;
  7. Hardware and home improvement stores;
  8. Retail functions of banks and other financial institutions;
  9. Retail functions of laundromats and dry-cleaning services;
  10. Stores that principally sell supplies for children under five years old;
  11. Pet stores;
  12. Liquor stores;
  13. Car dealerships, but only to provide auto maintenance and repair services, and auto mechanics;
  14. Retail functions of printing and office supply shops; and
  15. Retail functions of mail and delivery stores.

Additionally, the following were just added as Essential Retail Businesses by the Office of the Governor as of Tuesday, March 24, 2020:

p.  Cell phone sale and repair shops;
q.  Bicycle shops to provide service and repair;
r.  Livestock feed stores;
s.  Nursery and garden centers;
t.  Farming equipment stores.

On Wednesday, March 25, 2020, Governor Murphy in his daily briefing advised that child day care centers which care for the children of essential employees may stay open for that limited purpose.

Where practicable, Essential Retail Businesses must provide for pickup services outside or adjacent to their stores for goods ordered in advance.  If an Essential Retail Business continues to allow the public inside, it must take all reasonable steps to keep customers six feet apart and frequently sanitize common surfaces.  Restaurants and dining establishments may remain open during normal business hours, but can only offer delivery or takeout services.  All recreational and entertainment businesses, such as casinos and movie theaters, must close.  The indoor portion of retail shopping malls must close, but restaurants at malls that have their own entrances can still offer delivery or takeout services.  Barber shops, beauty salons, nail salons, and spas, as well as additional types of businesses that perform personal care services, must close. All libraries must close.

Non-retail businesses and non-profits in the state may continue to operate.  However, they must “accommodate their workforce, wherever practicable, for telework or work-from-home arrangements.”  If certain employees cannot perform their essential work remotely, they can go to their jobsite, but “the business or non-profit should make best efforts to reduce staff on site to the minimal number necessary to ensure that essential operations can continue.”

All schools must remain closed.

Essential services to low-income residents, including food banks, are not restricted or prohibited.

At the same time as he signed EO 107, the Governor issued another executive order, EO 108, that makes clear that EO 107 preempts any contrary limitations or restrictions imposed by any other municipal or county entities. So there is only one standard across the state.

We will continue to update you on the continued developments in future governmental action how they impact you.

Stay well!

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