Yes, attending a gathering, ceremony, or celebration is permitted as long as the event complies with the following limits on gatherings.
Gatherings are allowed, but different limits apply depending on the type of gathering, and where it is happening:
- General indoor gatherings must be limited to 25 people or 25% of a room’s capacity — whichever number is lower. All attendees at indoor gatherings must wear face coverings and stay six feet apart.
- Indoor gatherings for weddings, funerals, or memorial services must be limited to 150 people or 25% of a room’s capacity — whichever number is lower.
- Indoor gatherings for religious and political activities protected under the First Amendment must be limited to 150 people or 25% of a room’s capacity — whichever number is lower.
- Indoor gatherings for entertainment centers where performances are viewed or given, including movie theaters, performing arts centers, and other concert venues, must be limited to 150 people or 25% of a room’s capacity — whichever number is lower.
- General outdoor gatherings must be limited to 500 people and social distancing must be practiced
- There is no limit for outdoor gatherings for religious or political activities protected under the First Amendment.
- Indoor gatherings pose more risk than outdoor gatherings. Host outdoor activities rather than indoor activities as much as possible.
- Ask guests to wear face coverings when they cannot social distance.
- Make hand sanitizer available for guests.
- Gatherings that last longer pose more risk than shorter gatherings.
- Gatherings with more people pose more risk than gatherings with fewer people. Limit numbers of attendees as much as possible.
- When hosting activities, do so with people only from your local area as much as possible. Activities with attendees traveling from different locations increase the risk of infection and spread, especially if they are coming from or traveling to a location with higher levels of COVID-19 cases and community spread.
- Remind invited guests to stay home if they have been exposed to the virus in the last 14 days, are showing COVID-19 symptoms, or recently travelled to an area or a state with high COVID-19 infection rates.
- Limit the number of people handling or serving food—for example, consider identifying one person to serve all food so that multiple people are not handling the serving utensils.
- Remind guests to wash their hands before serving or eating food.
- Use single-use hand towels or paper towels for drying hands so guests do not share a towel.
- Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and any shared items between use when feasible.
- Consider keeping a list of guests who attended for potential future contract tracing needs. If you are called by a contact tracer, it’s critical that you answer the call to protect us all. Your help is the key to stopping the spread of COVID-19 and saving lives.
To save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19, wear a mask, wash your hands, practice social distancing, and stay home if you are sick.
Face coverings are required in indoor public spaces and in outdoor public spaces when social distancing is difficult to maintain.
Download the COVID Alert NJ App. The app is New Jersey’s free and secure mobile app that anonymously alerts users if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. COVID Alert NJ uses Bluetooth proximity technology, never records any identifying data, and all users will remain anonymous. Download the app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
For more information on rules for indoor gatherings, refer to paragraphs 4-6 on pages 9 and 10 of Executive Order No. 183 and paragraph 1 on page 6 of Executive Order No. 152.
For more information on rules for outdoor gatherings, refer to paragraph 1 on page 5 of Executive Order No. 161 and paragraph 2 on pages 7-9 of Executive Order No. 152.
Safety Tips For Gatherings
During this difficult time, we understand everyone wants to be with family and friends. But being cautious when you interact with others is particularly important as New Jersey is seeing increasing signs of community spread. To ensure we don’t inadvertently spread COVID-19 and needlessly put our loved ones at risk, the NJ Department of Health has offered safety tips for in-person gatherings:
Source: Executive Order No. 152; Executive Order No. 161; Commissioner Persichilli’s Remarks 7/29/20; Executive Order No. 183; Commissioner Persichilli’s Remarks 10/15/20