Public Law

NJ Governor Again Increases Permissible Size of Gatherings and Clarifies the Meaning of “Outdoor Area” for Purposes of Outdoor Dining

On June 22, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued Executive Order 156  (“EO 156”), which, effective immediately, increases the permissible number of attendees at indoor and outdoor gatherings from the limits he established in Executive Order 152  (“EO 152”) (which we wrote about here).

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Texas Local Governments Impose New Face Covering and Health and Safety Plan Requirements Upon Employers, As COVID-19 Cases Surge

For the last two weeks, Texas is continuing to break records for daily coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.  According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, on June 23, 2020 Texas had the highest daily number of COVID-19 cases (5,489) since the pandemic began, and for twelve consecutive days had record-high hospitalizations.  Also on Wednesday, June 23rd, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said 97% of the intensive care unit beds in Houston are filled. Governor Abbott acknowledged this week that there is a massive outbreak of COVID-19 across the state of Texas, and announced that his office is examining greater localized restrictions.  Since June 3, Texas has been in Phase III of reopening, whereby all businesses in Texas are permitted to operate at up to 50% capacity, with very limited exceptions, and since June 12, 2020, restaurants have been permitted to expand their occupancy levels to 75%.

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New Jersey Governor Allows Certain In-Person Higher Education to Resume on July 1

On June 18, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued Executive Order 155 (“EO 155”), which as of July 1, 2020, allows degree-granting public and private institutions of higher education (“IHE”) to resume instruction that cannot be readily taught other than in-person.  Specifically, EO 155 allows resumption of in-person labs, technical, clinical, or hands-on instruction, with enhanced health and safety protocols.

IHEs that are authorized and intend to resume in-person instruction pursuant to EO 155 must submit a restart plan to the Secretary of Higher Education (the “Secretary”), in accordance with the Restart Standards for All New Jersey Institutions of Higher Education, no later than 14 days prior to the expected date of implementation of the plan. Certain IHEs that had previously received a waiver to hold in-person instruction pursuant to Executive Orders No.104 and 107 (2020) must do so by July 2, 2020 (i.e., within two weeks of E.O. 115’s date of issuance).

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NJ Governor Permits Hair Salons and Other Personal Care Services Facilities to Reopen on June 22, 2020, Provided They Comply with Health Safeguarding Requirements

On June 13, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order 105 (“EO 154”), permitting the reopening of “personal care service facilities,” at 6:00 a.m. on June 22, 2020, provided the facilities comply with mandated social distancing and other health safeguarding requirements.  Specifically, EO 154 covers, “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, and tattoo parlors.”  To reopen these personal care service facilities must comply with standards issued by the New Jersey Department of Health (“DOH”), and Division of Consumer Affairs, as applicable.

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NJ Governor Increases Permissible Size of Gatherings; Lifts Stay at Home Order and Says Outdoor Swimming Pools and Some Other Outdoor Entertainment Can Re-Open June 22

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued Executive Orders last week increasing the permissible number of attendees for indoor and outdoor gatherings, lifting part of a prior Executive Order that had directed residents to stay home, and setting a date and requirements for the reopening of outdoor pools and other outdoor entertainment and recreation.

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Northern Virginia and Richmond Enter Reopening Phase Two Lifting COVID-19 Restrictions

On June 9, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam announced that Northern Virginia and Richmond will join the rest of the state in entering Phase Two on June 12, 2020, taking the next step to reopening the region.  Governor Northam’s Executive Order 65 further eased temporary restrictions throughout most of the Commonwealth of Virginia, initiating the “Safer at Home: Phase Two” strategy on June 5, 2020.

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The Courts’ Reopening Continues: “Priority” as Well as “Urgent” Matters Are Now Being Heard

June 12, 2020 – Jean-Pierre Sheppard and Lauren Flam, of our Commercial Litigation Department, obtained an interim injunction yesterday to force a defendant who was defaming a company to cease and desist. The Court held that the unfounded accusations of financial impropriety and alleged product quality problems were being circulated in bad faith with the purpose of causing harm to the company.

Defendant was ordered to immediately cease initiating any contact with the company’s customers, suppliers and its other business partners.

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Emergency situation in Latvia due to Covid-19 revoked

On 10 June 2020, the state of emergency was abolished in Latvia, but at the same time the state aid measures and restrictions imposed (with certain exceptions) remain in force.

On Friday, 5 June 2020, the Saeima adopted the Law on Overcoming the Consequences of the Spread of Covid-19 Infectionwhich entered into force on June 10 and will regulate the state aid measures and determine the measures to prevent the consequences of Covid-19 after the end of the emergency situation on 9 June 2020.

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New Jersey Governor Sets Dates and Guidelines for Re-Opening of Child Care Centers, Day Camps, Some Organized Sports, Outdoor Dining and Indoor Non-Essential Retail

Child care centers, day camps, some organized sports, outdoor dining and indoor non-essential retail are the latest business and activities that soon can start reopening (with limitations) pursuant to two Executive Orders signed last week by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.

Executive Order 149 – Child Care Centers, Day Camps, Organized Sports

On May 29, 2020, Gov. Murphy signed Executive Order 149 (“EO 149”) , to allow the re-opening (with restrictions and guidelines) of all child care centers and other child care facilities, day camps and the operation of non-contact organized sports.  EO 149 rescinds Executive Order 110 (“EO 110”) (which closed most childcare centers) and supersedes all prior executive and administrative orders to the extent they conflict with EO 149.

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New Jersey Governor Extends Public Health Emergency Until July 4, 2020

Citing the continuing need to protect the New Jersey residents from COVID-19 (even as the state ramps up its reopening), on June 4, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order 151 (“EO 151”) , extending the state’s Public Health Emergency by thirty days, i.e., until July 4, 2020. Pursuant to EO 151, all Executive Orders and actions taken by any Executive Branch departments and agencies (including Administrative Orders) that were adopted in whole or in part based on the current Public Health Emergency will remain in full force and effect. A declared public health emergency gives Gov. Murphy and state department leaders expanded authority to respond to a crisis such as COVID-19.

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