TRENTON (1010 WINS) – Gov. Phil Murphy said Thursday that indoor shopping malls, which have been closed since mid-March, can reopen in New Jersey on Monday, June 29.
“After weeks of discussions with mall operators statewide, I am pleased to announce that Col. (Patrick) Callahan will be issuing an administrate order later today to allow the indoor potions of retail shopping malls to reopen,” Murphy said at his briefing.
Murphy said masks or face coverings will be required at the malls for visitors and employees and that all stores are limited to 50 percent capacity.
Restaurants at malls are allowed to offer takeout and outdoor dining, while indoor entertainment businesses like theaters and arcades must remain closed.
Murphy said common areas like food courts must remain closed or cordoned off.
The governor said mall operators must also establish building-specific policies and customer flow plans to minimize congestion points.
Sanitation materials must be provided to employees and customers at places like entrances as well.
“Certainly malls are part of New Jersey culture and lore—I think as much here, if not more so, than any other American state,” Murphy said. “We want these businesses to get back up and running responsibly and safely.”
Murphy reported another 442 coronavirus cases, bringing the state's total to 168,107.
There were 1,268 people hospitalized with the virus Thursday, the governor said, with 319 of them in critical or intensive care.
The number of people on ventilators rose slightly to 257, but Murphy said "that's still lower than where we were even four days ago."
The governor also reported another 38 deaths from the virus since Wednesday. The state's death toll is now 12,800.