NEW JERSEY – Governor Phil Murphy Tuesday signed Executive Order No. 183, which establishes rules for the resumption of indoor dining on Friday, September 4 at 6:00 a.m., provided businesses comply with the health and safety standards issued by the Department of Health.The Governor’s Executive Order also contains requirements for movie theaters and other indoor entertainment businesses, where the number of patrons for a performance will be limited to 25 percent capacity, up to a maximum of 150 people.
The Governor’s Order also increases the limits for indoor gatherings that are religious services or celebrations, political activities, wedding ceremonies, funerals, or memorial services to 25 percent capacity with a maximum of 150 people, an increase from the current limit of 25 percent capacity with a maximum of 100 people. Other indoor gatherings, including house parties, remain at the limit of 25 percent capacity with a maximum of 25 people.
“Given the progress we continue to see statewide, and with the proper precautions and limitations in place, I am proud that we can take this step today to allow our restaurants to once again welcome patrons back for indoor dining services,” Murphy said. “Our job now is to ensure that this resumption only leads to future expansions of indoor capacity limits, and that we do not have to take a step backward.”
“Sitting at a table inside a favorite restaurant and enjoying a good meal with family and friends has been a shared missed experience for New Jerseyans,” Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said. “The measures outlined in this directive will help ensure that restaurant-goers and staff alike remain healthy and protected from the spread of COVID-19.”
“We are excited to see the announcement allowing the start of indoor dining,” said Marilou Halvorsen, President of the New Jersey Restaurant & Hospitality Association. “This has been a long road and I appreciate the Governor and his team communicating with the association and members of the industry. The industry is ready for a safe reopening and getting New Jerseyans back to work. We look forward to the next phase.”
Under the Department of Health’s Health and Safety Standards, food or beverage establishments offering in-person service must adhere to the following protocols, among others:
- Limit the number of patrons in indoor areas to 25 percent of the food or beverage establishment’s indoor capacity, excluding the food or beverage establishment’s employees;
- Limit seating to a maximum of eight (8) customers per table (unless they are from a family from the same household) and arrange seating to achieve a minimum distance of six feet (6 ft) between parties;
- Require customers to only consume food or beverages while seated;
- Require patrons to wear face coverings while inside the indoor premises of the food or beverage establishment, except when eating or drinking at their table;
- Food or beverage establishments with table service must require that customers be seated in order to place orders;
- Food or beverage establishments with table service must require that wait staff bring food or beverages to seated customers; and
- Keep doors and windows open where possible and utilize fans to improve ventilation.
The Governor’s Executive Order includes requirements for theaters and indoor performance venues to reopen to the public on Friday, September 4, which include:
- Any particular showing is limited to 25 percent capacity with a maximum of 150 people;
- Groups that buy tickets together can sit together, but must be at least 6 feet apart from all other groups; and
- Individuals must wear masks, unless they are removing them to eat or drink concessions.