Amid continuing progress against the novel coronavirus, New Jersey has officially lifted the most restrictive aspects of its stay-home order.
Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order Tuesday lifting the order than had been in effect in the Garden State since March 21.
Murphy said the state's Stage 1 reopening progress no longer warranted the measure.
"With more and more of our businesses reopening, we are no longer requiring you to stay home, but we are asking you to continue to be responsible and safe," Murphy said at his daily briefing Tuesday afternoon.
Effective immediately, indoor gatherings will be permitted to either one quarter of a building's capacity or 50 people total — whichever number is lower, the governor said.
Attendees at public events must wear face coverings and maintain six feet of social distance.
Outdoor gatherings may include up to 100 people. That number is expected to be increased to 250 as of June 22 and 500 by July, which would allow for some graduation celebrations to move forward.
Absent a vaccine, Murphy warned that further loosening of restrictions is subject to the state's keeping the virus outbreaks in check. Certain markers could be delayed if there is an increased in cases.
State is expected to again allow outdoor dining, as well as other services starting June 15.
New Jersey, the most densely-populated state in America, was harder hit per capita by COVID-19 than even New York State.
New Jersey has confirmed nearly 165,000 cases of the virus and blamed more than 12,200 deaths so far on the pandemic respiratory disease.
This spring, cemeteries in some counties reported that they were struggling to keep up with the astounding number of new burials.
Despite the widely criticized and onerous restrictions, state officials believe thousands of lives have been saved by the stay-home measures.
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