The National Football League is slated to release its 2021 football season on May 12, and Gov. Phil Murphy said he’s confident the 82,500-seat MetLife Stadium can reach a full house once the season starts on Sept. 9.
Under the current COVID-19 reopening rules, large outdoor venues – those with at least 1,000 seats – were allowed to increase capacity from 30% to 50% as of May 7. Masks have to be worn and groups need to maintain 6-foot social distancing.
But those guidelines could be adjusted should the federal Centers for Disease Control shrink its social distancing recommendations from 6 feet down to the likely 3 feet. New Jersey will follow suit should the CDC take that route, Murphy said.
“Can you sit next to someone not in your bubble … at a Giants or Jets game? Too early to tell, but I think there’s a good chance,” Murphy said during his daily COVID-19 press briefing on May 10.
Most of the state’s reopenings are slated to go into effect on May 19, in what Murphy’s called the “most aggressive reopenings to date.”
Under those measures, tables can be placed closer than 6 feet if they are separated by type of barrier; large indoor venues like theaters will be able to go from 20% to 30%; indoor catered events such as proms and weddings are capped at the lesser of 50% or 250 people; and private indoor gatherings will be capped at 50 people, up from the 25-person limit.
This past Friday, restaurants and bars were allowed to resume barside seating and self-service buffets.
State health officials contend that the state has to fully vaccinate 4.7 million adults by June 30 in order to reach herd immunity. Now health officials are looking at how many people they can vaccinate in the age range of 12 to 15 years of age.
Roughly 3.6 million New Jerseyans have so far gotten the vaccine, according to state health data.
“If we blow through our objectives, there’s a higher likelihood the Jets and Giants can sell more tickets,” the governor added.