Shore communities in New Jersey are rejoicing, as are residents throughout the state.
On Tuesday, The Hill reported that Democrat New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has finally decided to lift the stay-at-home order that has been in place in the state for more than two months amid fears of the coronavirus.
While extreme, stay-at-home measures recommended by the White House earlier this year kept COVID-19 from completely decimating this country. Still, some may debate that the state-mandated lockdowns went on too long, irrevocably damaging many small businesses, especially in Democrat-run states like New Jersey and Michigan.
Local business owners have been revolting in those states, especially after their governors allowed large-scale protests to take place even as business owners faced arrest for opening their “non-essential” storefronts.
But now that stay-at-home orders have been lifted, those businesses will finally be allowed to reopen — though with restrictions in place.
Proceeding with caution
Announcing the end of stay-at-home requirements, Gov. Murphy stressed that if the state wishes to quickly progress through the various phases of reopening, everyone still needs to follow social distancing recommendations, including wearing “face coverings” in public.
He tweeted Tuesday:
BREAKING: Today I’m signing an Executive Order LIFTING OUR STAY-AT-HOME ORDER.
Please continue to be responsible and safe. Wear face coverings and keep a social distance from others when out in public.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) June 9, 2020
New Jersey has been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus, with more than 165,000 confirmed infections and at least 12,377 deaths, according to The New York Times. However, the majority of those cases were seen in northern New Jersey, close to New York City.
Now that the Garden State is officially in “Phase 2” of reopening, venues can open back up at 25% capacity, with a maximum of 50 people. If venues have outside seating, they can host as many as 100 people.
This will be a huge boost to shorefront locations that rely on tourist money during the summer to keep them afloat for the remainder of the year.
Indeed, it is a very good sign that come Independence Day weekend in July, businesses may be very close to “normal” again. We can only hope the rest of the country soon follows suit.