Governor Phil Murphy announced earlier this month that parents can now attend youth and high school games but that announcement didn’t cover collegiate sports. Today he shared news on that front. Effective immediately, two parents or guardians per college athlete will be allowed at practices and competitions for all indoor and outdoor college sports, as long as they don’t exceed 35 percent of the rooms’ capacity. Mask wearing is required and social distancing must be maintained.
Murphy said this apples to New Jersey and that collegiate conferences like the NCAA may have their own stricter rules in place.
For those anxious to see professional sports, concerts and other performances in person, there’s good news on that front, too. Effective March 1st, large sports and entertainment venues, with a fixed-seating capacity of more than 5,000 people may open for spectators effective March 1st. They can open with 10 percent capacity for indoor venues and 15 percent capacity for outdoor venues. Face coverings will be required, except when eating or drinking, and all groups must be at least 6 feet apart.
“Other states have recently taken similar steps, as well as New York and we are pleased to join them,” said Murphy in his press conference today. “One reason we can take this step is because fixed seating means that spectators are largely confined to their seats which minimizes congregating. Should the numbers that we track every day continue to go down we will continue to raise these capacity limits as we approach the summer and the fall.”
In other big news, Murphy announced a change to the capacity limits that houses of worship have been under. Starting today, houses of worship can operate at 50 percent capacity with no maximum capacity. Masks are required, except for brief removal for religious reasons, like taking communion for example. And non-family members must remain six feet apart.
“The ability to worship together plays a central role in well being and mental health,” says Murphy of this most recent change.