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May 14

Governor’s Order Eases Restrictions on Retail Businesses and Construction Projects

Posted on May 14, 2020 at 2:09 PM by Legislative Staff

Governor Murphy, on Wednesday, May 13, 2020, issued Executive Order 142 (EO 142) which pulls back some of the restrictions previously placed on nonessential retail businesses, construction projects, and social events.  EO 142 permits the resumption of nonessential construction, curbside pickup at nonessential retail businesses, and car gatherings for the purpose of drive-through and drive-in events.  The construction and nonessential retail provisions will take effect at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, May 18, 2020, while the car gathering provisions took effect immediately. 

While EO 142 permits the resumption of nonessential construction, all projects must abide by social distancing, safety, and sanitization requirements. This includes:

  • Prohibiting nonessential visitors from entering the worksite;
  • Engaging in appropriate social distancing measures when picking up or delivering equipment or materials;
  • Limiting worksite meetings, inductions, and workgroups to groups of fewer than 10 individuals;
  • Staggering work start and stop times where practicable to limit the number of individuals entering and leaving the worksite concurrently;
  • Stagger lunch breaks and work times where practicable to enable operations to safely continue while utilizing the least number of individuals possible at the site;
  • Require workers and visitors to wear cloth face coverings, in accordance with CDC recommendations, while on the premises.  Businesses must provide, at their expense, such face coverings and gloves for their employees. If a visitor refuses to wear a cloth face covering for non-medical reasons and if such covering cannot be provided to the individual by the business at the point of entry, then the business must decline entry to the individual;
  • Require infection control practices, such as regular hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, and proper tissue usage and disposal;
  • Limit sharing of tools, equipment, and machinery;
  • Where running water is not available, provide portable washing stations with soap and/or alcohol-based hand sanitizers that have greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol;
  • When the worksite is an occupied residence, require workers to sanitize work areas and keep a distance of at least six feet from the occupants; and
  • Place conspicuous signage at entrances and throughout the worksite detailing the above mandates.

Nonessential retail businesses can open but only for curbside pickup. They must continue to have their in-store operations closed to customers.  Limiting retails business to curbside pickup means businesses such as tattoo parlors and hair salons must remain closed and have not been authorized to reopen under this Order. Businesses that choose to offer curbside pickup must abide by the requirements in EO 142, which include:

  • In-store operations should be limited to those employees who are responsible for the operations required for curbside pickup;
  • Customer transactions should be handled in advance by phone, email, or other means to avoid person-to-person contact;
  • Customers shall notify the retailer by text message, email, or phone once they arrive, or make best efforts to schedule their arrival time in advance.  The customer should be asked to remain in their vehicle if arriving by car, until staff delivers the purchase;
  • Designated employees should bring goods outside of the retail establishment and place goods directly in a customer’s vehicle when possible, avoiding person-to-person contact; and
  • Such business must follow social distancing and mitigation practices outlined in previous orders, including requiring workers to wear cloth face covering when in contact with other workers or customers and gloves when in contact with goods or customers.

In addition, the Order clarifies that car gathering do not violate previously enacted bans on gatherings found in prior executive orders.  Examples of such car gatherings include but are not limited to drive-in movies, religious services, or drive-through farms or safaris.  Such car gatherings are still subject to restrictions found in the Order, which include:

  • Attendees must remain in their same car throughout the gathering unless 1) an occupant needs to get out of their vehicle for health or safety, 2) an occupant needs to use the restroom;
  • The vehicle must remain closed at all times unless 1) there is six feet of distance between other vehicles or individuals or 2) an officer, public official or guard requires the vehicle open. 
  • Organizers of the gathering who are not in vehicles must follow social distancing and mitigation guidelines, and must wear cloth face coverings; and
  • To the degree that the gathering requires pre-payment, or seeks donations of any kind, contactless options for payment or contribution must be offered, such as online or via telephone, where feasible.

Please review EO 142 in its entirety for all requirements and restrictions.

Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., Associate General Counsel, or 609-695-3481 x. 137.