The COVID-19 coronavirus has spread quickly through the United States, leading many state and local governments to impose strict measures on public gatherings and businesses. The governors of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut made a joint announcement on March 16 to outline steps they are taking to limit the spread of COVID-19.
New Jersey’s governor, Phil Murphy, has issued a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. starting on Monday night. He has also ordered the closure of many businesses and schools. Here’s what you need to know about the curfew and restrictions in New Jersey:
All Non-Essential Travel in the State Is ‘Strongly Discouraged’ Starting Tonight
In his statement, Gov. Murphy said that all non-essential and non-emergency travel between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. on any day of the week is “strongly discouraged.” This is in place for the foreseeable future. He said: “With all we are seeing in our state – and across our nation and around the world – the time for us to take our strongest, and most direct, actions to date to slow the spread of coronavirus is now.”
He continued, “I’ve said many times over the past several days that, in our state, we are going to get through this as one New Jersey family. But if we’re all in this together, we must work with our neighboring states to act together. The work against coronavirus isn’t just up to some of us, it’s up to all of us.”
When announcing the travel ban measures, he said: “Everyone needs to stay in and be safe. The last thing anyone can be thinking about is going out and potentially spreading the disease.”
It’s important to note that this travel ban is not an official order under the state of emergency, but it is “strongly discouraged.”
Gov. Murphy Issued a List of Businesses Which Will Close Effective Tonight & Remain Closed for the Foreseeable Future
Gov. Murphy provided a list of businesses that must close tonight, March 16, at 8 p.m. and that will remain closed indefinitely, “until it is deemed safe for their reopening.” These businesses are: restaurants, bars, casinos, gyms, movie theaters and racetracks. He added that online gaming is able to continue.
The governor also confirmed that businesses that are essential for the health of the public, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and medical offices would be able to remain open. Restaurants are also allowed to offer takeout and delivery services.
In terms of schools, the New Jersey governor said that all public and private schools would be closing as of Wednesday, March 18. Colleges and universities will also be closing from that date.
The governor also banned all gatherings of more than 50 people, effective tonight at 8 p.m. He said: “We do not take any of the steps we’ve announced today lightly. We know that these will impact residents and families, communities, and businesses. But our paramount concern is to [flatten the curve] – these steps will ensure we do not overload our health care system.”
All the businesses not listed in the ban are allowed to open during the day if they close by 8 p.m. at night, limit the number of people inside the business to 50 people and make sure everyone stays six feet apart.