TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — More businesses will be allowed to open in New Jersey just before the Fourth of July holiday, Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Wednesday.

Speaking during his daily coronavirus media briefing, the governor said Stage 2 reopening is going smoothly, so much so that the following businesses can get back to work on July 2, at 25% capacity:

  • Museums
  • Aquariums
  • Indoor recreation, including bowling alleys, batting cages, shooting ranges, and boardwalk arcades
  • Libraries

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Murphy also addressed gyms and fitness centers, saying they may only conduct individualized training by appointment, starting July 2.

All of the reopenings are contingent on the implementation of strict safety protocols. Murphy said any customer that does not wear a mask will be refused service, and all businesses must follow social distancing guidelines.

He added capacity will increase gradually based on virus infection data.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Murphy also said indoor entertainment venues such as movie theaters, performing arts centers, concert venues and nightclubs, will remain closed.

“It brings us no joy to say that. We would love to be able to open those things up. We just are not there yet,” Murphy said. “We just don’t think it’s the responsible thing to do. Inside is a whole different reality than outside.”

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The governor then segued to more encouraging news, saying NJ TRANSIT rail and light rail service will return to full weekday schedules on July 6. For more information, go to njtransit.com/recovery.

As for the daily coronavirus hospitalization metrics, Murphy said there were 317 new positive cases on Tuesday, bringing the state’s overall total to 169,892 since the pandemic started in mid-March. The daily positivity rate increased slightly to 2.83%.

There were also 48 new deaths, upping the statewide total to 12,995.

New Jersey continues to make progress fighting the virus compared to the rest of the country. It is currently 36th in new cases per day, ninth in patients hospitalized, and fifth in deaths per day, all per 100,000 residents.

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