LIVINGSTON, NJ — Recovering from the coronavirus shutdown has been a slow process, Livingston. But there’s good news: the “new normal” is getting closer.
Livingston's restaurants, stores, businesses and other cultural institutions continue to reawaken from the COVID-19 shutdown that threw a devastating monkey wrench into New Jersey’s economy.
A new wave of adjustments will come when indoor portions of retail shopping malls across the state will be allowed to reopen for customers on Monday, June 29. (See more information about reopening at the Livingston Mall below)
Meanwhile, the state's restaurants will get the go-ahead to reopen for limited dining indoors on Thursday, July 2. In addition, several entertainment venues and industries will be allowed to reopen at 25 percent capacity on July 2, including museums, bowling alleys and arcades.
Catch up on the latest updates in Livingston below.
New Jersey restaurants and bars were allowed to reopen outdoors on June 15. Customers were banned from eating inside, and must wear face masks if they go inside to use the bathroom or pick up a takeout order. Patrons with "medical reasons" or children under two don't have to wear masks.
On July 2, New Jersey restaurants will be given the go-ahead to reopen for dining indoors. Eateries will be limited to 25 percent capacity.
Restaurants in Livingston were given the green light to reopen outdoors – with restrictions – on June 15. Livingston Township offers information on "COVID-19 Reopening Policies for Restaurants" on its website.
Preparations to help local businesses, including restaurants, began on a local level in April, Livingston officials said.
"Zoning rules were relaxed to allow such things as expanded outdoor dining for restaurants, allowing increased signage for all businesses, allowing sidewalk sales and other outdoor shopping opportunities for our retailers," Fernandez said. "Further, our application process has been simplified and zoning fees have been waived."
The township's health department has also been in communication with local restaurant management to stress that establishments must follow requirements in the National Restaurant Association's COVID-19 Reopening Guidance document.
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See related article: Restaurants In Livingston Can Reopen Outdoors; Zoning 'Relaxed'
Nonessential retail stores were allowed to resume online/phone ordering and curbside pickup in New Jersey on May 18. Limited in-person retail was cleared to reopen on June 15.
Indoor portions of retail shopping malls across the state will be allowed to reopen for customers on Monday, June 29. Restaurants inside malls can only offer takeout and delivery, but can offer in-person service at outdoor areas. Employees and customers must wear face coverings while on the premises, with exemptions for medical reasons or children under 2.
Livingston Mall, and other New Jersey malls owned by Simon Property Group, have been open for curbside pickup, as per Gov. Murphy's orders.
It wasn't immediately clear if Livingston Mall or other Simon properties would be reopening indoors on June 29. Patch will update this article if more information becomes available.
See related article: Livingston Mall May Have A Radically Different Reopening
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HAIR SALONS, BARBERSHOPS, SPAS
Hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, tattoo parlors and other personal care businesses were allowed to reopen in New Jersey on June 22.
The reopen issue surrounding the industry was particularly thorny in Essex County, where hundreds of fed-up hairdressers and barbers from across New Jersey rallied for a "peaceful photoshoot" in May.
See related article: Fed-Up NJ Hairdressers, Barbers Protest In Essex County
“Passive recreation” such as running, hiking and biking was allowed again in state parks on Saturday, May 2. Counties and municipalities were able to decide for themselves whether to keep local parks open or closed.
See related article: Essex County Reopens Parks, Golf Courses With Some Restrictions
Playgrounds in New Jersey will be allowed to reopen on July 2.
Baseball, softball, soccer and outdoor basketball sports were allowed to resume in New Jersey on June 22, but were limited to non-contact drills and practices. Non-contact football drills also resumed on June 22. Baseball, softball, soccer and outdoor basketball competitions can resume in New Jersey on July 6. Full football practices and competitions should be able to resume by July 20.
On a local level, Livingston took another step towards reopening from the coronavirus shutdown on June 22 when it opened its athletic fields to the public.
See related article: Livingston Sports Fields Reopen
See related article: Tennis, Pickleball Courts Reopen In Livingston
Some local rules in Livingston include:
In accordance with the governor's executive order, only non-contact practices maybe played, provided that they do not involve person-to-person contact or routinely entail individuals interacting within six feet of one another.
Each person should bring all of their own equipment. Sharing of equipment is discouraged as much as possible. If equipment is shared, you must utilize proper sanitation procedures for shared equipment (balls, bats, etc. — consult CDC guidance for cleaning and disinfection) and have sufficient disinfecting wipes or similar products available.
Each person should bring their own water and drinks to practice activities. Group water coolers for sharing through disposable cups should not be used.
GYMS, FITNESS CENTERS
New Jersey will allow gyms and fitness centers to open for “individualized training sessions” on July 2. No group workouts or open hours will be allowed, and clients must make appointments.
Libraries will be allowed to reopen indoors on July 2.
The Livingston Public Library began offering "contactless" pickup of Livingston Library materials on June 22. Requested items will be held in bags and placed on a table outside of the doors to the main entrance of the building. (Learn more here)
"Currently, we are unable to allow patrons to enter the library," its website reads. "Be assured that every step we take towards reopening will prioritize the health and safety of our patrons and our staff."
Several types of entertainment venues and industries will be allowed to reopen at 25 percent capacity in New Jersey on July 2, including museums, bowling alleys and arcades. However, movie theaters, concert venues, performing arts centers and night clubs must remain closed for now, Gov. Murphy said on June 24.
Livingston Township will be reopening the Mervin T. Haines Pool on Friday, June 26.
See related article: Livingston Will Reopen Town Pool After Gov. Murphy's Go-Ahead
Essex County reopened the Turtle Back Zoo on June 18. Several surrounding attractions, such as the paddle boats at South Mountain Recreation Complex, the Treetop Adventure and Zip Line and the miniGOLF Safari have also reopened.
See related article: Turtle Back Zoo Has Reopen Date; Other Attractions Reawaken
See related article: Paddle Boating Reopens At South Mountain Complex In Essex County
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