Murphy tweaks COVID-19 rules for sporting events, malls, grocery stores and tutoring centers – NJ.com

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Players and coaches don’t count towards attendance limits at college games. Hot bars are banned at grocery stores. And private tutoring businesses have a green light to reopen.

All of these are included in new tweaks to New Jersey’s coronavirus-related restrictions, made through an order announced by Gov. Phil Murphy on Saturday. The order is effective immediately.

The order clarifies that professional and collegiate sporting events, athletes, coaches, referees, trainers and other essential staff will not count towards indoor or outdoor attendance limits. For indoor sports, capacity will be limited to 25%, with a maximum of 150 people. The state currently limits outdoor events to 500 people.

Restaurants in the arenas and stadiums hosting those sporting events will be allowed to operate under existing rules for indoor and outdoor dining, according to the order. Indoor dining is currently allowed in New Jersey with a 25% capacity.

Mask wearing is required for people attending a sporting event, indoors or outdoors.

The new guidance on how attendance is counted, and how concessions and restaurants can operate in arenas, leaves open the possibility for fans to attend sporting events in the state. But New Jersey’s highest profile teams have already made clear that fans will not be in their stands for the near future.

Rutgers is not selling tickets to the general public, and only allowing immediate family members of players and coaches to attend games in Piscataway. The Giants and the Jets have also committed to playing their home games at Metlife Stadium without fans this season. College basketball is creeping closer, and Seton Hall has already announced that fans will not be allowed at games to start the season.

The new order also allows vending machines and stroller rentals to operate at New Jersey malls under, provided the machines are properly sanitized. Playgrounds and valet parking remain closed at malls.

Buffets, salad bars and other self-service food is prohibited at retail businesses, including grocery stores. Self-service drink machines are still allowed, according to the order, but only if the businesses keeps them sanitized.

Finally, the order allows private tutoring facilities to reopen for students and clients.

New Jersey reported 1,370 new COVID-19 cases and 12 additional deaths on Saturday. The state has now attributed 16,350 deaths to the virus and reported 237,886 total cases since early March.

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Michael Sol Warren may be reached at [email protected].

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