New Jersey expanding capacities for indoor dining, gatherings, and some businesses on Friday

Restaurants, gyms, and other businesses across New Jersey can expand their indoor operations to 35% come Friday as part of an executive order Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Wednesday. 

Under the order, Murphy will allow indoor capacity to expand from 25% to 35% starting at 8 a.m. Friday. This decision comes days before the Super Bowl and less than two weeks ahead of Valentine's Day. 

Murphy also announced Wednesday that the statewide 10 p.m. service cutoff that restaurants have been faced will be lifted later in the week. Local restrictions pertaining to hours of operation will still apply, Gov. Murphy says. 

"I am incredibly grateful to the millions of New Jerseyans who have been vigilant in practicing social distancing and wearing face coverings, and I urge everyone to continue their efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, Murphy said.

Indoor entertainment, recreation areas, and personal care businesses, like hair salons, can also expand to 35% capacity come Friday morning.

Indoor gatherings including religious ceremonies and services, weddings, political activities, memorial services, and funerals will also be increased to 35% capacity but will be capped at 150 individuals.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Jersey fell from 5,850 on Jan. 19 to 4,538 new cases a day Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University

Murphy reported 52 deaths overnight, putting the death toll at 19,506. There have been 837,000 vaccinations so far, the vast majority are people getting the first of two shots.


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