Governor Phil Murphy made an announcement this morning that for the first time since March, New Jersey restaurants can resume indoor dining effective 6 am on Friday, September 4. At his COVID-19 Press Briefing, he further detailed guidelines for restaurants that included 25% capacity and social distancing in place. He reminded the state that if dining at a restaurant that provides table service, you will only be able to order while seated at your table. Only staff can bring food or beverages, if you are seated at a table, you cannot go to the bar to get another drink or place a food order. Restaurants that provide food service at their bars may allow patrons to dine at the bar, provided that all diners are kept at proper distances. Any group seated together at the bar is capped at four individuals. The State is mandating strict ventilation requirements including, windows must be open to ensure a proper flow of fresh air into dining areas, air conditioner units must be turned so they are allowing for the maximum amount of outdoor air to be introduced to the dining area.
Later in the afternoon, Governor Murphy also announced that indoor gathering capacity limits would increase to the lesser of either 25 percent capacity or 150 individuals. This includes religious services and celebrations, Weddings, Funerals, Memorial services, and Political activities. In addition, another Executive Order was signed today allowing movie theaters and indoor performance venues to reopen on September 4. Face masks will be required, social distancing to be practiced, capacity will be capped at the lesser of 25% or 150 people. Each showing and each theater in a multi plex will be subject to capacity limits.