TRENTON, N.J. - New Jersey restaurants statewide will be permitted to resume indoor dining at a limited capacity beginning this Friday.
Gov. Phil Murphy made the announcement on Twitter Monday morning.
Murphy says restaurants will only be able to open at 25% capacity and social distancing between tables will also be required.
Additionally, restaurant staff will be required to wear masks at all times. Diners will be required to wear masks when they are not seated at their tables, and food and beverages can only be consumed at tables.
Restaurants will also be asked to meet ventilation requirements like leaving windows open to ensure a proper flow of fresh air into the dining areas. Air conditioners must also be turned so that they’re allowing for the maximum amount of outdoor air to be introduced to the dining area, Murphy said.
"Reopening responsibly will help us restore one of our state’s key industries while continuing to make progress against #COVID19," Murphy added in his tweet.
Earlier this summer, the state had pulled the plug on plans to resume indoor dining back on July 2.
At the time, Murphy called the postponement indefinite and cited a spike in cases in other states "driven by, in part by the return of indoor dining."
During his daily coronavirus briefing Monday, Murphy also announced that movie theaters and other indoor performance venues would also be able to reopen come Friday. Masks and social distancing will be required and capacity will be capped at the lesser of either 25% or 150 people.
A number of other indoor gatherings are also permitted at 25% capacity or 150 people, including:
- Religious services and celebrations
- Memorial services
- political activities
Murphy says the latest reopenings later this week are possible "because of the hard work millions of you have done to keep pushing down our health metrics."
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