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Mitigation Requirements Added for Essential Retail Businesses

Governor Phil Murphy has signed Executive Order No. 122, ceasing all non-essential construction projects and imposing additional mitigation requirements on essential retail businesses and essential industries to limit the spread of COVID-19 in New Jersey. The order also outlines specific protections and policies for all essential retail, manufacturing, and warehousing businesses, as well as businesses engaged in essential construction projects.

Governor Murphy’s executive order directs essential retail businesses that are still permitted to operate under Executive Order No. 107 (2020) must adopt the following policies:

• Limit occupancy at 50 percent of the stated maximum store capacity, if applicable, at one time;

• Establish hours of operation, wherever possible, that permit access solely to high-risk individuals, as defined by the CDC;

• Install a physical barrier, such as a shield guard, between customers and cashiers/baggers wherever feasible or otherwise ensure six feet of distance between those individuals, except at the moment of payment and/or exchange of goods;

• Require infection control practices, such as regular hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, and proper tissue usage and disposal;

• Provide employees break time for repeated handwashing throughout the workday;

• Arrange for contactless pay options, pickup, and/or delivery of goods wherever feasible. Such policies shall, where possible, consider populations that do not have access to internet service;

• Provide sanitization materials, such as hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes, to staff and customers;

• Require frequent sanitization of high-touch areas like restrooms, credit card machines, keypads, counters, shopping carts;

• Place conspicuous signage at entrances and throughout the store, if applicable, alerting staff and customers to the required six feet of physical distance;

• Demarcate six feet of spacing in check-out lines to demonstrate appropriate spacing for social distancing;

• Require workers and customers to wear cloth face coverings while on the premises, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health or where the individual is under two years of age, and require workers to wear gloves when in contact with customers or goods. Businesses must provide, at their expense, such face coverings and gloves for their employees. If a customer refuses to wear a cloth face covering for non-medical reasons and if such covering cannot be provided to the individual by the business at the point of entry, then the business must decline entry to the individual, unless if the business is providing medication, medical supplies, or food, in which case the business policy should provide alternate methods of pickup and/or delivery of such goods. Nothing in the stated policy should prevent workers or customers from wearing a surgical-grade mask or other more protective face covering if the individual is already in possession of such equipment, or if the business is otherwise required to provide such worker with more protective equipment due to the nature of the work involved. Where an individual declines to wear a face covering on store premises due to a medical condition that inhibits such usage, neither the essential retail business nor its staff shall require the individual to produce medical documentation verifying the stated condition.