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Gov. Phil Murphy 

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TRENTON - Gov. Phil Murphy Feb. 22 announced Executive Order No. 225, which increases capacity limits for religious services and large sports and entertainment venues. 

According to a release, additionally, limited spectators will be allowed at collegiate sporting events, mirroring last week’s announcement on youth sporting events.

“As our Covid-19 metrics continue to trend in the right direction and as we continue our aggressive vaccination effort, we believe we can safely take this step,” stated Murphy. “We have always strived to make accommodations wherever safely possible, be it with religious services, sporting events, entertainment venues, or in other sectors. I am pleased that we are able to increase these limits today and hopeful that the numbers continue to point in the right direction for further reopening steps.”

The changes are as follows:

Religious Services

Effective immediately 

  • Religious services and celebrations, including wedding ceremonies, funerals, and memorial services that involve a religious service, will be able to operate at 50% capacity of the room in which they are held, with no cap on the number of individuals permitted to attend. Services were previously limited to 35% of the room, up to 150 individuals.  
  • Individuals attending services will still be required to wear masks and sit 6 feet apart from those outside of their household group.

Collegiate Sporting Events

Effective immediately 

  • Operators of indoor and outdoor collegiate sports practices and competitions may allow up to two parents or guardians per each participating athlete.
  • Even including this limited number of parents and guardians, the total number of individuals at an indoor practice or competition cannot exceed 35% of the capacity of the room, and any outdoor space needs to accommodate all attendees with appropriate room for social distancing.
  • Collegiate athletic conferences retain the discretion to impose stricter protocols regarding spectators, including for events that take place in large venues.

Large Sports and Entertainment Venues

Effective March 1, 6 a.m. 

  • Large sports and entertainment venues with a fixed seating capacity of 5,000 or more will be permitted to host a number of patrons and members of the public equal to 10% of capacity indoors and 15% of capacity outdoors.  
  • Facilities that host such events must ensure that all attendees at the event remain 6 feet apart from other attendees, except that individuals who purchase or reserve tickets together may be seated together. Attendees will also be required to wear masks within the facility, except when eating or drinking.

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