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June 28, 2020

Socially-distanced tables, face coverings among COVID-19 health protocols for indoor dining in New Jersey

In-person service inside restaurants and bars can resume across the state on Thursday

Restaurants Coronavirus
Indoor dining New Jersey Dan Gold/via Unsplash

Customers will have to practice social distancing and wear face coverings while enjoying in-person indoor dining across New Jersey.

In-person indoor dining at 25% capacity can resume across New Jersey starting on Thursday. But when it does, there will be several coronavirus health and safety measures in place to protect customers and employees.

Tables at restaurants and bars must remain six feet apart in all directions from any other table or seat in order to enforce social distancing. Bar seating that is not reserved for an individual group must also remain six feet apart.

Customers must order and consume food and/or beverages while seated, and only wait staff can bring food and beverages to the customers.

Patrons are required to wear face coverings indoors when not seated either at their tables or the bar. Visitors who don’t wear a face mask will be refused service. Those who have a personal health issue or who are under the age of 2 are not required to wear a face covering.

Indoor dining in New Jersey has been prohibited during the entire COVID-19 pandemic. Restaurants and bars were only permitted to offer takeout and delivery service. But since June 15, outdoor dining has been allowed.

The return of indoor dining at reduced capacities had been outlined as part of the second phase of New Jersey’s three-step reopening plan for coronavirus pandemic

Indoor dining is not the only activity that is set to resume across the state on Thursday. Casinos have been given the green light to reopen at 25% capacity. Racetracks can reopen as long as social distancing is practiced, face coverings are worn, and no more than 250 people are allowed at the venue.

Museums, libraries, aquariums, bowling alleys, batting cages, shooting ranges, and arcades along the Jersey Shore boardwalks can all resume at 25% capacity and with face covering requirements. 

Operators of indoor activities will be required to follow stricter health and safety guidelines than are in place for outdoor activities because of the greater risk of COVID-19 transmission. Those will include heightened disinfection standards and more stringent social distancing protocols.

New Jersey gyms and fitness centers cannot fully reopen on July 2, but on that date they will be permitted to conduct individual training sessions by appointment-only. Such workouts must be conducted in separate rooms or with a physical barrier in place.

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