New Jersey is planning to enter the second stage of its coronavirus reopening plan in mid-June, Governor Phil Murphy announced Monday.
Barring a drastic change in the state's coronavirus data, outdoor dining will be allowed again as of June 15.
Also on that date, child care centers will be permitted to reopen and in-person retail sales may resume, as long as each store keeps capacity at no more than 50 percent.
Later in the month, June 22, hair salons and barbershops can reopen.
Gov. Murphy did not offer a reopening date for gyms and health clubs. He added that health officials are continuing to work out safety protocols.
New Jersey, the most densely-populated state in the country, has blamed nearly 12,000 deaths on COVID-19, reporting more COVID-19 deaths and cases per 100,000 residents than any U.S. state.
Murphy emphasized that with no COVID cure or vaccine, the state's successful reopening will heavily rely on people continuing to exercise caution, like by wearing masks when they go out and frequently washing their hands.
"Just because the calendar says June 15 doesn't mean that everyone should just go back to what they were doing pre-COVID," Murphy said. "Let's use common sense for the common good. Only a successful Stage 2 can get us to Stage 3."
As of Monday, New Jersey was No. 1 in the country in daily COVID testing per capita.
Stage 3 of the state's coronavirus recovery plan allows expanded dining, critical in-office work, limited personal care services and limited entertainment.
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