Murphy Opens Car Dealerships and Bike Shops

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced today that car dealerships, motorcycle dealerships and bicycle shops could reopen their doors for in-person sales.

Murphy has started gradually scaling back his orders in recent days. He has allowed state and county parks to reopen with social-distancing restrictions, permitted nonessential retail businesses to offer curbside pickup, and said beaches, boardwalks, and lakes can be open this summer with guidelines.

Yesterday, Murphy signed an executive order that allows “some additional outdoor recreational areas and businesses to restart their operations,” including batting cages, golf ranges, shooting and archery ranges and horseback riding. Golfers may also now tee-off in foursomes. Private tennis clubs and community gardens can also reopen, the governor said.

With daily new announcements of business openings, and restrictions being lifted for certain businesses some wonder if the New Jersey government is now picking winners and losers.

As the list of businesses now able to operate has been expanded from the original list of “essential” businesses that were allowed to remain open when New Jersey’s locked down started over 2 months ago, calls are ringing out on social media that the governor is picking winners and losers.

Images of bustling box stores like Walmart, Home Depot and Target that have managed to adhere to social distancing and remain open, leave to question why small retails stores would not be able to open stores and maintain social distancing protocols.

Murphy did allow retail businesses to open for curbside pickup, but that would mean the store would have to be set up for either online or phone ordering and sales.

On Monday, Murphy shared insight into a phased “Road Back” plan and said we are in Stage 1

Stage 1: Restrictions relaxed on low-risk activities if appropriately safeguarded. New Jersey is currently in this stage.

Phased-in businesses may include:

  • Non-essential, but easiest to safeguard, work activities at physical locations if they meet safeguarding and modification guidelines. Example: non-essential construction with protections
  • Some non-essential retail may open with significant modifications. Example: curbside pickup
  • All workers who can work from home continue to work from home even if their industry is reopening. Example: an office manager for a construction company

Phased-in activities include State and county parks, non-essential construction, curbside retail, drive-in activities, beaches, and elective surgeries.

Stage 2: Restrictions are relaxed on additional activities that can be easily safeguarded.

Phased-in businesses may include:

  • More work activities are allowed at physical locations only if they adhere to safeguarding and modification guidelines. Work activities to be phased-in over the course of Stage 2 may include expanded retail, safeguarded restaurants with outdoor seating, limited personal care, and possibly indoor dining, museums, and libraries, all with significantly reduced capacity.
  • All workers who can work from home continue to work from home. Example: a buying manager for restaurants
  • Some personal care services may be provided on a limited basis.

Stage 3: Restrictions are relaxed on most activities with significant safeguarding.

Phased-in businesses may include:

  • More work activities, including in-person meetings, are allowed at physical locations only if they can adhere to safeguarding guidelines and modifications. Work activities to be phased-in over the course of Stage 3 may include expanded dining, critical in-office work, limited entertainment, expanded personal care, and bars with limited capacity.
  • All workers who can work from home continue to work from home. Example: accounting office workers
  • Personal care services may be provided on a more extended basis.

Precautions that apply across all stages include:

  • Work that can be done from home should continue to be done from home.
  • Clinically high-risk individuals who can stay at home should continue to do so.
  • All residents and businesses should follow state and federal safeguarding guidelines: wash hands; wear masks in public; respect social distancing; minimize gatherings; disinfect workplace and businesses; and no mass gatherings

Murphy said residents should not expect him to announce new reopening plans every day.

“But if the curves keep going in the right direction, we’ll continue to try to take those steps as responsibly and as quickly as we think we can,” he said. “We are constantly war-gaming a whole range of decisions.”

About The Author

Irving Lawrence Duckwald III is a freelance writer and blogger based in Central New Jersey. He has a penchant for fried chicken, fast cars, and fancy suits. With a knack for "setting the record straight", he can argue till the cows come home why it's Pork Roll and not Taylor Ham.

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