Indoor dining and entertainment can resume Friday at limited capacity, according to the governor’s latest order.
As announced last week, indoor dining will be allowed at 25 percent capacity.
The order also allows movie theaters and other indoor entertainment to reopen at 25 percent with a maximum of 150 people.
That new maximum will also allowed for indoor gatherings that are religious services or celebrations, political activities, wedding ceremonies, funerals or memorial services.
Other indoor gathers, such as house parties, remain at a maximum of 25 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,” Gov. Phil Murphy said. “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.”
Under the Department of Health’s Health and Safety Standards, food or beverage establishments offering in-person service must adhere to the following protocols, among others:
- 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.
- 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 between parties.
- Require customers to only consume food or beverages while seated.
- 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.
- Food or beverage establishments with table service must require that customers be seated in order to place orders;
- Food or beverage establishments with table service must require that wait staff bring food or beverages to seated customers.
- Keep doors and windows open where possible and utilize fans to improve ventilation.
“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,” Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said. “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.”
“We are excited to see the announcement allowing the start of indoor dining,” said Marilou Halvorsen, President of the New Jersey Restaurant & Hospitality Association. “This has been a long road and I appreciate the Governor and his team communicating with the association and members of the industry. The industry is ready for a safe reopening and getting New Jerseyans back to work. We look forward to the next phase.”
The Governor’s Executive Order includes requirements for theaters and indoor performance venues to reopen to the public:
- Any particular showing is limited to 25 percent capacity with a maximum of 150 people.
- Groups that buy tickets together can sit together, but must be at least six feet apart from all other groups.
- Individuals must wear masks, unless they are removing them to eat or drink concessions.
Update on self-quarantining for visitors to state
There are also now 33 states or territories where people should self-quarantine if they are traveling from there to New Jersey.
The travel advisory applies to anyone arriving from a state or territory with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average.
As of Tuesday, those 33 places are: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina. South Dakota. Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Virgin Islands and Wisconsin.
“We continue to ask everyone to practice self-responsibility and good citizenship by complying with our travel advisories,” Murphy said. “It is critically important for anyone arriving to New Jersey from these 33 states and territories to get tested for COVID-19 and self-quarantine for 14 days.”
Travelers and those residents who are returning from impacted states should self-quarantine at their home, hotel or other temporary lodging. Individuals should leave the place of self-quarantine only to seek medical care/treatment or to obtain food and other essential items.
No deaths for sixth day in Atlantic County
Meanwhile, Atlantic County has announced 13 newly confirmed positive cases, with a sixth day of no deaths.
The youngest new positive was a 3-month-old girl.
The cases included two each from Brigantine, Galloway Township, Hammonton and Ventnor. There was one new case each in Absecon, Egg Harbor Township, Hamilton Township, Linwood and Northfield.
The number of confirmed cases are now 3,989, with 2,697 listed as recovered.
Atlantic County had six deaths in August, a large decrease since the first reported death April 2. There have been 245 county-wide.
Testing for county residents continues every Tuesday from 9 to 11:30 a.m., behind the county Public Works yard in Northfield at Route 9 and Dolphin Avenue.
The only exception is the week of Labor Day, which will be Wednesday Sept. 9, instead of Tuesday.
An appointment is required, and can be made at www.aclink.org. Anyone who can’t make their appointment is asked to cancel no less than 24 hours to allow someone else to take the spot.
A list of additional testing locations in Atlantic County is available at: https://www.atlantic-county.org/covid/additional-testing-locations.asp
Health officials urge residents to continue to remain vigilant to help mitigate the spread of Covid-19. This includes wearing face coverings, maintaining social distancing and avoiding crowds, washing hands frequently and sanitizing common-touch areas, and answering the call if contacted by contact tracers.
TOTAL BREAKDOWN BY MUNICIPALITY
- Hammonton: 664; 56 deaths
- Atlantic City: 518; 13 deaths
- Pleasantville: 498; 19 deaths
- Egg Harbor Township: 485; 22 deaths
- Galloway Township: 405; 35 deaths
- Hamilton Township: 331; four deaths
- Absecon: 250; 27 deaths
- Northfield: 168; 31 deaths
- Linwood: 92; 13 death
- Ventnor: 91; three deaths
- Somers Point: 77
- Buena Borough: 72; three deaths
- Egg Harbor City: 65; two deaths
- Buena Vista Township: 51; one death
- Margate: 50; two deaths
- Brigantine: 48; one death
- Mullica Township: 42; one death
- Folsom: 23
- Estell Manor: 16
- Weymouth: 16; one death
- Longport: 9
- Port Republic: 8
- Corbin City: 3
- Unclear: 7*