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NJ governor permits gatherings of 25 people in time for Memorial Day weekend

NJ governor permits gatherings of 25 people in time for Memorial Day weekend
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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced Friday that he would allow outdoor crowds of up to 25 people and permit campgrounds to reopen just before Memorial Day weekend.

The changes were made in an executive order Murphy signed Friday, which keeps the cap on indoor gatherings at 10 people and requires social distancing to be observed among both indoor and outdoor groups. Face coverings are not required outside but are recommended.

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“I’m proud we are able to take this step today and add a little more hope and optimism to the start of the summer,” Murphy said at a press conference.

“If you were looking forward to gathering with your neighbors for a Memorial Day cookout, you may do so, so long as social distancing and personal responsibility remain the order of the day.”

Outdoor dining at restaurants remains prohibited in New Jersey.

New Jersey has been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus, which has infected more than 152,000 people in the state and killed more than 10,900.

The state has slowly begun reopening its economy, allowing parks and beaches to reopen and allowing nonessential retail businesses to offer curbside service.

The governor expressed optimism Thursday that other businesses like salons and gyms can be reopened “in a matter of weeks.”