The Town Crier - Legislative Backgrounder

The Town Crier - Legislative Backgrounder

Jul 10

[ARCHIVED] Governor Issues Executive Order 163

The original item was published from July 10, 2020 10:50 AM to October 15, 2020 10:56 AM

Requirements, & Sports Practices and Competitions

On Wednesday Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 163 (EO 163), which: requires individuals to wear face masks in outdoor areas when it is not possible to practice social distancing or be at least 6 feet apart; relaxes the definition of “outdoor areas” for outdoor dining requirements; and, addresses sports practices and competitions. The order took effect immediately.

Outdoor Face Coverings

The order requiring face coverings in outdoor public spaces when social distancing is not practicable would not apply to those who are:

 (1) within distance of their family members, romantic partner, household members, and/or caretakers; or,

(2) under the age of 2; or,

 (3) those whose health is inhibited by doing so; or,

(4) when it is not feasible, such as for eating and or drinking; or,

(5) briefly removing for religious reasons; or,

 (6) engaging in high intensity aerobic or anaerobic activities or when in the water.

Please note that directives in EO 149 will continue to govern childcare centers, summer camps, and other youth facilities as appropriate to the standards issued by the Department of Health; and, the definition of “outdoor public spaces” outlined in EO 163, does not include those childcare and youth facilities.

Relaxation of Outdoor Dining Requirements

The Order relaxes the definition of “outdoor areas” for food and beverage establishments. The definition of “open-air spaces” has been changed to either having no roof or cover; or having a fixed roof or temporary or seasonal awning or cover, with at least two open sides that would comprise over 50 percent of the total wall space if the space were fully enclosed.  This definition will also apply to recreational and entertainment businesses that opened their outdoor premise under EO 157.

Sports practices and competitions

Practices and competitions for sports that are defined as “Low Risk” by the Department of Health’s “Guidance for Sports Activities” are permitted and can resume both in outdoor and indoor settings. No-contact practices for sports considered “high” or “medium” risk are permitted to resume in outdoor settings. However, “medium risk” contact practices and competition may be permitted only outdoors. “High Risk” practices and competitions remain prohibited in both indoor and outdoor settings. 

Contact: Ciara Bradley, Legislative Administrator,, 609-695-3481, x128.