Governor Murphy Relaxes Indoor Restaurant and Gathering Rules
Governor Phil Murphy signed an Executive Order Wednesday increasing indoor capacity limits from 25 percent to 35 percent. The order, which takes effect Friday, February 5, impacts restaurants and bars just before Super Bowl Sunday. The Executive Order also lifts the 10:00 pm curfew for in-person indoor restaurant service. But, local officials may continue to regulate the hours of operation of indoor restaurant service and indoor operations of other non-essential businesses after 8:00 pm. The ban on seating at indoor bar areas remains in effect. “The downward trend of COVID-19 cases in our hospitals, coupled with the state’s decreasing rate of transmission, allows us to confidently expand our indoor capacity limits without leading to undue further stress on our health care systems. 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” said Governor Phil Murphy.
The Executive Order increases the following indoor capacity limits from 25 percent to 35 percent:
- Food or beverage establishments, including restaurants, cafeterias, private non-profit clubs, and food courts, with or without a liquor license, and bars;
- Entertainment and recreational businesses, including casinos and gyms; and
- Personal care services, including barber shops and nail salons.
The Order will also reverse the statewide requirement that restaurants close their indoor areas to in-person service between the hours of 10:00 pm and 5:00 am each day.Casinos and any other retail, recreational, or entertainment business open to the public may also resume indoor food and beverage service during those hours.
Religious ceremonies or services, political activities, wedding ceremonies, funerals, and memorial services that are currently limited to 25 percent of the room’s capacity up to 150 people will now be limited to 35 percent of the room’s capacity up to 150 people. Performances at entertainment centers, including movie theaters and performing arts centers, and concert venues, will similarly be capped at 35 percent up to a maximum of 150 people. Indoor meetings of addiction groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, will also be limited to 35 percent up to 150 individuals.