Newark Officials Launch First Phase to Reopen City

Newark –June 1, 2020– Mayor Ras J. Baraka introduced the first phase of Newark’s re-opening, which continues to put the health and safety of Newark residents first and is driven by hard facts and data about diminishing number of cases and deaths due to COVID-19 in the City.

“Our top priority is, and has always been, to save lives,” Mayor Baraka said. Very careful consideration went into the development of these guidelines to help us safely re-open.

Several weeks ago, the Mayor created the “Newark Reopening and Recovery Strikeforce” co-chaired by City of Newark Chief of Staff Amiri Baraka, Jr. and Newark Alliance CEO Aisha Glover. Committees within the strikeforce focus on public health, economic recovery, data collection and analysis, education, arts, community outreach and engagement, and communications.

“We have listened very carefully to their recommendations and have come up with a plan to open slowly and cautiously that meets the City’s economic needs and the recreational and social needs of our residents, Mayor Baraka said.

Phase One of the three-phase plan begins today and runs through June 14 if the COVID-19 cases don’t spike. The second phase will be from June 15-28, and the third runs from June 29-July 12.

“We are advancing,” the Mayor said, “but we have to give ourselves room to retreat if necessary.”

The City is also allowing for family cookouts for ten people, provided there is space for proper social distancing, PPE is worn and other sanitation guidelines are followed. If an area is large enough to accommodate 15 people, the City will allow it.

The City is also working on some online recreational options for children as the summer months begin.

The other Phases will loosen some restrictions, but social distancing and PPE remain “the new normal for the foreseeable future,” Mayor Baraka said.

The City will continue to install the color-coded system of risk, with red being high risk, yellow moderate, and green low. Red signs have already gone up in many of Newark’s small parks.

Newark is also changing its curfew from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., but cookouts must end at 9 p.m., allowing time for people to return home.

Details of the phases and a list of summer fun activities are attached. Businesses can submit reopening applications here: