Gov. Phil Murphy has signed a new executive order to enforce the rule.now requires all store employees and shoppers to wear face masks or coverings to help fight the coronavirus outbreak until further notice and has limited customers in stores to a max of 50% of the store’s capacity.
“Customers and employees must wear face coverings,” Murphy said in Trenton at a daily briefing on the pandemic. “All essential retail must indefinitely limit the number of customers in their stores to 50% of their approved capacity.”
Store employees are allowed to limit the time offenders are allowed to stay in the store and ask people anybody who isn’t wearing a mask or covering to stay away from other customers, a Murphy official said.
Murphy said he hopes people not wearing masks would “get asked to leave” and referred to the limited enforcement action as “benevolent.”
“My personal guidance is you gotta go out and find something to put on your face before you come in,” he said.
Workers will also be required to wear gloves if they’re interacting with customers, Murphy said. Businesses are required to give workers masks, coverings and gloves at the businesses’ expense.
Those under age 2 or those with medical reasons for not wearing a face covering are exempt.
The governor also announced further limits on the number of people in stores could be limited in the future.
“We are not running out of food or other items. Period,” Murphy said. “We are taking this step to protect both customers and workers.”
The order also requires that stores create physical barriers, where possible, to separate shoppers from clerks and baggers. He said the rule is statewide and local municipal officials may not enact stricter restrictions.
New Jersey now has 1,504 coronavirus deaths with 47,437 total cases as the outbreak continues to spread with 3,088 new positive tests announced on Wednesday. The numbers included another 275 deaths — the highest single-day increase since the outbreak.
The new restrictions are statewide and can’t be overruled by local officials, Murphy said.