TRENTON - Outdoor gatherings in New Jersey can increase capacity to 200 people on Friday and certain religious outings no longer have crowd restrictions as the Garden State carefully peels back more of its COVID-19 restrictions.
Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, is keeping indoor crowd limits to 25 people, while indoor dining, gyms and other sheltered entertainment venues will stay capped at 50% occupancy.
Weddings ceremonies, funerals and other indoor religious gatherings can fill 50% of the room's allowance. Receptions and catered events, however, can only invite up to 35% capacity or 150 people.
Certain outdoor events in New Jersey no longer have a capacity limit.
Murphy is hoping warmer weather in the weeks and months ahead will draw more events outside where ventilation is not a concern. He believes New Jersey residents have a "great summer" to look forward to but must remain cautious while indoors.
Some outdoor gatherings, including religious ceremonies, political events, weddings and funerals, will have no capacity limit starting Friday. The state's website says the "general outdoor gathering" limit is now capped at 200 people.
New Jersey is doing its best to cautiously ease some of its coronavirus restrictions and manage an uptick in new infections as vaccinations become more widespread. The state reported 4,699 new cases on Thursday and 30 virus-attributed deaths.
New Jersey is allowing its general outdoor gathering capacity to increase to 200 people.
Murphy's longheld belief is that the number of available doses in the state will increase dramatically by Memorial Day. He hopes to have 70% of eligible adults vaccinated by the end of May.
"I think the light is real," Murphy told FOX 29. "I've said this all along, we get to Memorial Day assuming the vaccine rollout continues as it's been going and we get more supply from the Feds - and that is beginning to happen - and folks continue to do the right thing, I think in a couple of months from now we're in a dramatically different place."
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