Stephanie Stahl reports.
JESSICA KARTALIJA: First at 5:00, a huge day on the road to recovery in New Jersey. Most restrictions are dropped, lifting the limits on the number of people at restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, museums, and stores. This all goes into effect on May 19th. But there are still a few rules in place.
We have team coverage. Dan Koob talking to restaurant and bar owners. But let's begin with health reporter Stephanie Stahl and the announcement from Governor Murphy. Hi, Stephanie.
STEPHANIE STAHL: Hi, Jessica. New Jersey joins New York and Connecticut in announcing today that the biggest COVID restrictions will be eliminated in two weeks. And Governor Murphy said some would be happening by this Friday.
Getting a drink at a bar in New Jersey, something that has been prohibited for a year, will be allowed to resume Friday, May 7th, a week ahead of schedule. Governor Murphy's major announcements covered a number of restrictions that will be lifted over the next two weeks, moves that are happening because COVID cases are down and vaccinations are increasing.
PHIL MURPHY: We have been at war for the past 14 months with this virus. So what this is, Operation Jersey Summer, this is our comprehensive effort, again, unlike any effort in any other American state, to drop the hammer and put a stake into the heart of this virus.
STEPHANIE STAHL: On May 19th, many restrictions will be lifted in New Jersey, as long as people wear masks and stay distanced. There will no longer be limits on indoor dining, at gyms, salons, businesses, and all outdoor activities.
PHIL MURPHY: To say that we've dropped everything right now is inaccurate. We have not. But these are big, big steps.
STEPHANIE STAHL: Among the restrictions that will stay in place but expand on May 19th, catered events will be allowed to have a maximum of 250 people. Large indoor events with 1,000 or more fixed seats can go up to 30% capacity. And private indoor gatherings can have up to 50 people.
PHIL MURPHY: Every single activity that we just discussed is substantially safer if you are vaccinated than if you are unvaccinated. We are going to also put into overdrive our work to make sure that we do everything we possibly can to meet our initial target of 4.7 million vaccinated New Jerseyans by the end of June.
STEPHANIE STAHL: And Governor Murphy said one of the efforts to get more people vaccinated is a program called A Shot and a Beer, a partnership with certain breweries who are offering a free beer to people who get their first COVID shot in the month of May. Ukee.
UKEE WASHINGTON: All right, Stephanie.