Playgrounds, rides, libraries, museums reopen in New Jersey

Casinos, outdoor amusement parks, museums, and other attractions reopened on Thursday in New Jersey with sanitation and mitigation guidelines in place.

Restrictions have also been lifted on water parks, libraries, indoor recreation, gyms/fitness centers for individualized training by appointment as more of the Garden State emerges from the pandemic. 

Outdoor amusement parks and water parks must limit capacity to 50 percent and face masks must be worn by workers and attendees “where practicable.” Casinos will be permitted to reopen at 25 percent capacity. Playgrounds are also permitted to reopen without limited capacities, although outdoor gatherings remain limited to 250 people.


Indoor portions of retail shopping malls across the state of New Jersey reopened on Monday. On June 22, personal care businesses like hair and nail salons, spas, barbershops, and tattoo parlors resumed operations.

On Monday, Governor Phil Murphy postponed the resumption of indoor dining, and banned drinking and smoking at Atlantic City’s casinos as they reopen this week, causing one casino to scrap plans to reopen anytime soon. Murphy said he acted because of a lack of compliance over the use of face masks and social distancing as the coronavirus outbreak continues to rage in many parts of the country.

The decisions had an immediate effect: Atlantic City’s top-performing casino, the Borgata, dropped its plans to reopen soon. It had planned to hold an invitation-only “soft opening” on Thursday and open its doors to the general public starting July 6.

Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday reported there were about 500 more positive cases, putting the total at 172,000. He reported the death toll climbed by 27 overnight to 13,251. There are also 1,854 probable deaths from the virus.


In time for the Fourth of July, Murphy said, the U.S. and state flags that have been flying at half-staff since April 3 to honor the dead from the outbreak, will return to full staff.

“As a sign of rebirth for our state as we keep moving down our road back, our flags will return to full staff,” Murphy said.

He added though, it wasn’t a “moment of triumph” and that more people were likely to succumb to the virus.



The limit on gatherings outdoors is rising Friday from 250 people to 500, Murphy said. The change had been announced earlier.

It comes in time for school graduations, which have been cleared to take place outside, Monday.



The state’s public health emergency has been renewed for a fourth time, Murphy announced.

The order would have expired automatically if not renewed under the law.

The renewal doesn’t mean Murphy is planning to close businesses again because of the outbreak, but leaves open that option if a hot spot re-emerges, he said.

Murphy previously renewed the public health emergency in April, May and June after first declaring one in March.



The state Labor Department said Thursday there were about 28,000 claims last week, down 15% from the previous week.

Since the outbreak started in March in New Jersey, 1.3 million people have sought benefits, the department said.

Combined state and federal funds have paid out $9 billion in jobless benefits, the state said.



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