New Jersey further tightens gathering restrictions, halts indoor sports

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced tighter restrictions on gatherings Monday amid an ongoing surge of coronavirus cases across the country.

The Democratic governor also announced the state would be halting indoor youth and adult sporting events.

The number of people allowed to gather outdoors will be further limited to a maximum of 25 people effective Monday, Dec. 7. That's down from a maximum of 150 people, and a return to limits that were in place back in May and June. 

Outdoor dining is unaffected by the new outdoor gathering restrictions, Murphy clarified on Monday. 

Other exceptions to the limit include political and religious activities that are constitutionally protected, as well as weddings and funeral services. 

The ban on youth and adult indoor sports will take effect at 6 a.m. Saturday and remain in effect through Jan. 2, 2021.

"We are seeing outbreaks related to indoor sports and this is a prudent, short-term step to slow the spread," Murphy said.

Collegiate and professional teams are exempt from the ban and outdoor sports will also be able to resume. 

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (Edwin J. Torres/Governor's Office)

Indoor event gatherings remain limited to just 10 people under restrictions imposed earlier this month. Under those guidelines, religious services, weddings, and funerals are among events that could continue but were limited to 25% of a room’s capacity, up to 150 people.

During an interview on Fox News Sunday over the weekend, Murphy claimed a shutdown was not out of the question for the Garden State.

"In terms of a shutdown, I don't anticipate it, and I sure as heck don't want to go that route," Murphy said on "Fox News Sunday." "I would just beg folks, particularly in the holiday season, ... keep your guard up."

During Monday's briefing, he explained that the state had much better "footing" when it came to the virus this time around, noting there was a lack of testing and information about the virus itself during the spring shutdown. 

The state of New Jersey reported 3,199 new coronavirus cases and 15 new deaths on Monday.



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