Coronavirus News: What is considered an 'essential service' in New Jersey?

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, April 30, 2020

Here's a look at what is considered an essential business during the coronavirus pandemic in New Jersey. Click here to see what's open and closed in New York and click here to see what's open and closed in Connecticut.


Businesses Allowed to Remain Open To The Public:

  • Grocery stores, farmer's markets and farms that sell directly to customers, and other food stores, including retailers that offer a varied assortment of foods comparable to what exists at a grocery store;
  • Pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries;
  • Medical supply stores;
  • Gas stations;
  • Convenience stores;
  • Ancillary stores within healthcare facilities;
  • Hardware and home improvement stores;
  • Banks and other financial institutions;
  • Laundromats and dry-cleaning services;
  • Stores that principally sell supplies for children under five years;
  • Pet stores;
  • Liquor stores;
  • Car dealerships, but only for auto maintenance and repair, to deliver online purchases directly to customers, or to arrange for curbside pickup;
  • Printing and office supply shops;
  • Mail and delivery stores;
  • Bars and restaurants for drive-through, delivery, and takeout only;
  • broadband and cable services
  • Mobile phone retail and repair shops;
  • Bicycle shops, but only to provide service and repair;
  • Livestock feed stores;
  • Nurseries and garden centers;
  • Farming equipment stores;
  • Child care centers, but only if they certify by Friday, March 27 that they will only serve children of essential workers starting April ;
  • Realtors, but only to show houses 1-on-1 (open houses are prohibited);
  • Firearms retailers, by appointment only and during limited hours;
  • Microbreweries or brewpubs for home delivery only;

Businesses Required to Close

  • Non-Essential Retail: If your business is a retail business that operates with a physical location that the public accesses your services from, you must close your business to the public. Delivery and online operations of retail businesses may continue.
  • Non-Essential Construction (effective April 10 at 8 pm): Non-essential construction projects, as defined here, must stop.
  • Recreational and Entertainment Businesses: Recreational and entertainment business must close. These include:
    • Casino gaming floors, including retail sports wagering lounges, and casino concert and entertainment venues;
    • Racetracks, including stabling facilities and retail sports wagering lounges;
    • Gyms and fitness centers and classes;
    • Golf courses;
    • Entertainment centers, including but not limited to, movie theaters, performing arts centers, other concert venues, and nightclubs;
    • All indoor portions of retail shopping malls. Restaurants and other stores located within shopping malls that have their own external entrances open to the public may continue offering only food delivery and/or take-out services.
    • All places of public amusement, whether indoors or outdoors, including but not limited to, locations with amusement parks, water parks, aquariums, zoos, arcades, fairs, children's play centers, funplexes, theme parks, bowling alleys, family and children's attractions.
    • Facilities where personal care services are performed that, by their very nature, result in noncompliance with social distancing guidelines, including but not limited to cosmetology shops; barber shops; beauty salons; hair braiding shops; nail salons; electrology facilities; spas, including day spas and medical spas, at which solely elective and cosmetic medical procedures are performed; massage parlors, tanning salons, tattoo parlors, and public and private social clubs, whether or not they serve alcohol, including but not limited to facilities owned or operated by the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Knights of Columbus, and any other social clubs associated with community service organizations. This excludes any health facilities that provide medically necessary or therapeutic services.
    • All municipal, county, and State public libraries, and all libraries and computer labs at public and private colleges and universities.
    • Non-retail businesses may stay open, but must accommodate their workforce, wherever practicable, for telework or work-from-home arrangements and must abide by enhanced mitigation requirements.

Click here for more information from the New Jersey state government.