Gov. Phil Murphy announced a “stay-at-home order” minutes ago that will effectively close all non-essential businesses across the state, a directive that will supersede all previous county and municipal memorandums related to curtailing the spread of COVID-19.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“We must be on one page and reading from the same playbook as one state. Period,” Murphy announced at a news conference in Newark.
The governor’s executive order closes every business aside from healthcare facilities, food stores, banks, gas stations, pharmacies, and eateries serving takeout and making deliveries.
The order, made publicly available shortly after the presser concluded, also allows pet stores, laundromats/ dry cleaners, and liquor stores to stay open.
He added that construction would also be an exception, along with manufacturing, trucking, and transportation operations.
All other operations are expect to close as of 9 p.m. tonight, effective through at least April 7th, as coronavirus figures continue to rise: with 1,327 cases confirmed throughout the state.
“Winning this battle, and getting back life back to normal – even if we are looking at a ‘new normal’ – will take all of us coming together as the one New Jersey family we are, and will always be. Let’s do this, New Jersey. Let’s be smart, and let’s save lives,” Murphy said.
The order also cancels all public gatherings, which includes weddings, religious services, and house parties, though the governor stressed that some daily life activities will still be permitted such as walking and going to the grocery store – though social distancing should still be practiced at all times.
Murphy further stated that the parameters of the order will be strictly enforced this time around, though did not elaborate on the exact nature of the penalties.
“If folks are monkeying around, we will take action,” Murphy said.
This evening, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla tweeted that the governor’s latest order only supersedes local directives “that are inconsistent” with the state guidelines, noting that municipalities still have the ability to implement stricter rules if they so choose.
“I just got off a regional call of mayors hosted by the Governor. To be clear, his order only supercedes [sic] county and municipal others ‘that are inconsistent’ with today’s State order. Localities still have home rule over things to be stricter such as AirBnb/short term rentals, etc[.]”
Editor’s note: This story was updated with new information.