Murphy OKs Limited Fans at Sport, Entertainment Venues; Raises Limits for Religious Services

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -
Governor Phil Murphy announceds the first major step of a $250 million redevelopment of the Walter Rand Transportation Center, the largest transportation hub in Camden County on February, 17 2021. (Edwin Torres/ NJ Governor’s Office)

Fans will be allowed to attend sports and entertainment events at New Jersey’s largest facilities in limited numbers starting next week, Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday.

He also relaxed limits on the number of people that can gather for religious services.

New Jersey venues with an indoor seating capacity of 5,000 or more will be allowed to have 10% of those seats occupied by fans starting on March 1, the Democratic governor said on the WFAN sports radio station.

For outdoor venues over 5,000 seats, the number will be 15% of capacity.

Murphy said he decided to allow the limited in-person attendance after reviewing a vast array of coronavirus-related statistics including hospitalizations, the number of hospital admissions versus discharges, overall positivity rate for COVID-19, and the rate of transmission, and determining that small crowds can be permitted safely.

He said face coverings and social distancing will be required at these venues.

The order also applies to large concert venues, although it remains to be seen how many acts will play to a 90% empty hall.

Later in the day, Murphy also announced that greater numbers of people will be able to gather for religious services.

Such events, including wedding ceremonies, funerals, and memorial services that involve a religious service, will be able to operate at 50% capacity of the room in which they are held, with no cap on the number of individuals permitted to attend. Services were previously limited to 35% of the room, up to 150 individuals.