Malls, Motor Vehicles, Playgrounds Opening Near Hopatcong, Sparta

Russ Crespolini

Driver tests, malls, playgrounds and more will be opening this week and Patch has a little guide to keep you up to date as restrictions designed to spread the stem of COVID-19 are released.

On Monday, MVC driver in-person driver services, inspections and road tests can resume and indoor malls will reopen.

At the MVC, the reopening will not be as originally planned as New Jersey has delayed in-person services for driver's license renewals and other Motor Vehicle Commission responsibilities. Drop-off and pickup services will continue.

The Motor Vehicle Commission announced on Friday that most in-person transactions scheduled to start on Monday will be delayed until July 7 while the text notification system undergoes final testing.

MVC Chief Administrator Sue Fulton said the MVC intended to rely on its new text notification system to check people in, then allow them to leave the building and go elsewhere.

"Unfortunately, this new system requires further testing, so we will not be able to open as fully as we anticipated on June 29," she said."

Without the text notification system, the number of people waiting for transactions who will need to be on site will far exceed capacity limitations.

"We have said that the health and safety of our customers and employees is our first priority; therefore, we cannot put people in this situation," Fulton noted.

Road testing and inspections stations will still be fully operational on Monday.

Those who successfully complete their road tests will have to wait to get their new licenses until July 7, but they will be given access to "Road Test" express lanes at every licensing center, the MVC says.

In addition, the MVC will be closed on Mondays during July to allow the commission to do health and safety assessments of its facilities following each week of expanded activity.

Those with new licenses will have more places to drive to as indoor malls have been given the clearance to reopen Monday. Both the Bridgewater Mall and the Mall at Short Hills will be ready to greet customers Monday morning as will the Rockaway Townsquare Mall.

Regardless, here are some of the state guidelines that these malls must follow when opening:

  • Restaurants within the interior of a retail shopping mall are restricted to offering takeout, delivery services, and outdoor dining. This will most likely change on July 2 when indoor dining will be allowed to resume.
  • Retail kiosks located within malls must ensure that customers remain six feet apart at all times.
  • All areas with communal seating shall be removed or cordoned off. Isolated seats or benches available for individual use may be accessible, in order to provide customers with a place to rest.
  • Indoor shopping mall operators should evaluate floor plans and establish policies to minimize congestion points and maintain social distancing, such as a customer flow plan with floor markings or separate entrance and exit points.
  • Mall employees and mall operators must require infection control practices, provide employees break time for handwashing, and provide sanitization materials, among other requirements.
  • Mall employees and customers must wear face coverings while on the premises, except where doing so would inhibit that individual's health or where the individual is under two years of age.
  • If a customer refuses to wear a cloth face covering for non-medical reasons and if such covering cannot be provided to the individual by the mall at the point of entry, then the mall must decline entry to the individual.
  • Valet parking, vending machines, stroller rentals, and any type of communal play area will be closed.
  • Businesses inside the mall, such as entertainment and recreational businesses including gyms, fitness centers, movie theaters, amusement parks, water parks, and arcades, shall remain closed until July 2 when Murphy announced they can reopen.

And speaking of July 2, here are other openings happening Thursday and Friday this week:

  • In-person clinical labs and hands-on programming at colleges will be allowed to resume on July 1
  • Career and training schools can reopen on July 1st
  • Playgrounds will reopen on July 2nd
  • Amusement parks will reopen on July 2nd
  • Water parks will reopen on July 2nd.
  • Indoor dining will be allowed to resume on July 2nd
  • Casinos will be allowed to reopen on July 2nd.
  • Racetracks may also reopen for in-person bets on July 2nd
  • Indoor capacity at catering halls will also resume on July 2nd
  • Museums will reopen at 25 percent of capacity on July 2nd
  • Aquariums will reopen at 25 percent of capacity on July 2nd
  • Bowling alleys will reopen at 25 percent of capacity on July 2nd
  • Shooting ranges will reopen at 25 percent of capacity on July 2nd
  • Arcades will reopen at 25 percent of capacity on July 2nd
  • Libraries will reopen on July 2nd
  • Gym and fitness centers will be allowed to open only for individualized training, and by appointment, involving one person and/or your family on July 2nd
  • The limit on outdoor gatherings will rise to 500 on July 3rd

Further down the road:

  • Youth summer camps and programs are set to begin on July 6th
  • In-person graduations are set to begin on July 6th
  • Baseball, softball, soccer and outdoor basketball competitions can resume on July 6th
  • NJ Transit will return to full weekday service on July6th
  • MVC driver in-person driver services, including driver's license renewals, will resume on July 7th
  • Full football practices and competitions should be able to resume by July 20th

Here is what is already open:

  • Fishing charters and watercraft rentals reopened at 6 a.m on May 17th
  • Nonessential retail stores for online and phone ordering and curbside pickup, as well as nonessential construction, were allowed to resume at 6 a.m. on May 18th
  • In-person automobile and motorcycle sales were allowed to return on May 20th
  • Beaches were allowed to reopen on May 22nd
  • Batting cages and golf ranges, with foursomes – not just pairings – were allowed to tee-off on May 22nd
  • Shooting and archery ranges, horseback riding and private tennis clubs and community gardens were allowed to resume on May 22nd
  • Elective and invasive surgeries were allowed to resume on May 26th
  • The limit on outdoor gatherings was raised from 25 to 100 on June 9th, paving the way for outdoor entertainment, recreational activities, religious services and protests to resume
  • The limit on indoor gatherings was raised to 25 percent capacity, or 50 people total, on June 9th, paving the way for indoor church services to resume
  • Libraries were allowed to do curbside pickup beginning on June 12th
  • Open houses to view real estate, with attendees wearing face coverings, resumed on June 14th
  • Car washes were allowed to resume on June 14th
  • Yard and garage sales were allowed to resume on June 14th
  • Fireworks displays at public and private beaches, boardwalks, lakes and lakeshores were allowed to resume on June 14th
  • Outdoor dining reopened on June 15th
  • Limited in-person retail reopened on June 15th
  • Child care centers reopened on June 15th
  • MVC driver services resumed (pick-up only) on June 15th
  • Municipal and private-club swimming pools reopened on June 22nd
  • Non-contact organized sports activities restarted on June 22nd
  • Beauty salons reopened on June 22nd
  • Barber shops reopened on June 22nd
  • Cosmetology shops reopened on June 22nd
  • Day and medical spas (not steam rooms, saunas or shared bathing facilities) reopened on June 22nd
  • Electrology facilities reopened on June 22nd
  • Hair braiding shops reopened on June 22nd
  • Massage parlors reopened on June 22nd
  • Nail salons reopened on June 22nd
  • Tanning salons reopened on June 22nd
  • Tattoo parlors reopened on June 22nd
  • The limit on outdoor gatherings rose to 250 on June 22nd
  • Indoor gatherings were limited to 25 percent capacity of the rooms in which they will take place, with a maximum of 100 persons, as of June 22nd
  • Golf and tennis resumed competitions on June 22nd
  • Baseball, softball, soccer and outdoor basketball resumed on June 22nd, but they are limited to non-contact drills and practices.
  • Non-contact football drills resumed on June 22nd

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This article originally appeared on the Hopatcong-Sparta Patch