COVID-19 Update for New Jersey and Pennsylvania

By: L. Stephen Bowers and Joseph J. Lee
Labor and Employment Alert

In light of recent upward trends of COVID-19 cases nationwide, and with the holiday season quickly approaching, the State of New Jersey and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania recently announced new restrictions.

New Jersey

On November 16, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 196, lowering the limits on both indoor and outdoor gatherings in the State of New Jersey:

Indoor Gatherings

  • The revised limit took effect on November 17, 2020 at 6:00 am;
  • The limit was decreased from 25 to 10 people;
  • The limits for weddings, funerals, memorial services and religious and political activities are unchanged (limited to 25% capacity of the room, maximum of 150 people); and
  • The limit for sporting competitions and practices can exceed the 10 person limit for purposes of practice or competition, but cannot exceed 150 people.

Outdoor Gatherings

  • The revised limit will take effect on Monday, November 23, 2020 at 6:00 am;
  • The limit will decrease from 500 to 150 people; and
  • Weddings, funerals, memorial services, religious and political activities will not be affected by the revised limit.


In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Department of Health issued an Order on November 17, 2020 concerning revised mitigation measures:

  • The order took effect on Friday, November 20, 2020 at 12:01 am;
  • Any individual traveling into and/or returning to Pennsylvania from any other state, commonwealth or international location is required to produce evidence of a negative COVID-19 test collected within 72 hours prior to entrance or quarantine for 14 days following entry
    • Exemptions: Individuals traveling to/from Pennsylvania for the purposes of work, for medical reasons (including individuals who provide comfort/support to patients), military personnel entering Pennsylvania and individuals traveling through Pennsylvania to reach another destination;
  • Individuals are required to wear masks outdoors where social distancing is impossible and indoors regardless of social distancing if other individuals who are not members of the same household are present. Businesses are required to take reasonable steps to ensure that the revised mask order is complied with; and
  • Colleges and universities must meet additional requirements regarding procedures for testing, isolation and enforcement of masking and social distancing requirements

Also, in the City of Philadelphia, Mayor Jim Kenney and Health Commissioner Thomas Farley, signed an Emergency Order on November 16, 2020 establishing additional safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • The order will take effect on November 20, 2020 at 5:00 pm and continue through January 1, 2021;
  • All indoor gatherings (including weddings, showers, funerals and celebrations) that involve members of more than one household are prohibited;
  • The limit for religious institutions is capped at 5 people per 1,000 sq. ft., or 5% of maximum occupancy; and
  • The limit for outdoor gatherings and events is capped at 10 people per 1,000 sq. ft., or 10% of maximum capacity (cannot exceed 2,000 people). All individuals must wear masks at all times, and food or beverages may not be served.

If you have any questions please contact Stephen Bowers (; 215.864.6247), Joseph Lee (; 610.782.4958) or another member of the Labor and Employment Group.

As we continue to monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), White and Williams lawyers are working collaboratively to stay current on developments and counsel clients through the various legal and business issues that may arise across a variety of sectors. Read all of the updates here.

This correspondence should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only and you are urged to consult a lawyer concerning your own situation and legal questions.


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