Dining Out

New Jersey restaurants can resume indoor dining Friday

If you are thinking of heading over to Lambertville this coming Labor Day weekend for a bite to eat, dining indoors will once again be an option.

New Jersey Gov. Murphy announced this week that restaurants across the state can open for indoor dining beginning at 6 a.m. on Friday at 25 percent capacity and with social distancing between tables.

Murphy had originally planned to allow indoor dining to resume in early July, but halted the move after other states reported spikes in new covid-19 cases after reopening restaurants for indoor dining.

Movie theaters and other indoor entertainment businesses can also open under the governor’s executive order, but the number of patrons for a performance will be limited to 25 percent capacity, up to a maximum of 150 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,” said Gov. Murphy. “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,” said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “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.”

Under the Department of Health’s Health and Safety Standards, food or beverage establishments offering in-person service must adhere to the following protocols:

  1. 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;
  2. 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;
  3. Require customers to only consume food or beverages while seated;
  4. 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;
  5. Food or beverage establishments with table service must require that customers be seated in order to place orders;
  6. Food or beverage establishments with table service must require that wait staff bring food or beverages to seated customers; and
  7. 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:

  1. Any particular showing is limited to 25 percent capacity with a maximum of 150 people;
  2. Groups that buy tickets together can sit together, but must be at least 6 feet apart from all other groups; and
  3. Individuals must wear masks, unless they are removing them to eat or drink concessions.


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