By Stephanie Stahl

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday that indoor room and event capacities are expanding, as well outdoor gathering limits. There is also new guidance for proms and graduations.

In two weeks, capacity limits in New Jersey will be raised to 50%. The governor’s announcement comes just in time for prom season and June brides.

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And while larger groups will be allowed to gather, precautions like wearing masks and social distancing will still be necessary.

“We have been eager to relax our restrictions as soon as the numbers gave us confidence that we could do so safely and responsibly and that time has come,” Murphy said.

COVID cases are down and vaccinations are up, a trend that Murphy says paves the way to allowing larger groups to gather.

“Because of everything you’re doing, whether it is continuing to wear your masks and social distancing or getting vaccinated, you are helping us crush these curves yet again,” Murphy said.

Starting on May 10, indoor capacity limits in New Jersey will be increasing to 50%, with a maximum of 250 people allowed to gather inside.

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This covers private gatherings like proms, weddings, funerals, and also performances and other events.

Outdoor limits on gatherings will be increasing to 500 people, and more for venues with fixed seating.

“For our large outdoor venues, which we are now defining as those with 1,000 or more fixed seats, on Monday, May 10, they may move to host crowds at 50% capacity so long as they can maintain six feet of social distance between seated groups,” Murphy said.

There is no change to the current 50% restriction on indoor dining in New Jersey. The only limit on eating outside is that groups and tables are kept six feet apart.

Murphy is hopeful the trend in fewer COVID cases will continue. If so, he said we could see another increase in capacity limits at outdoor events before Memorial Day.

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He also said an announcement on summer camps would be coming soon.

Stephanie Stahl