As of Wednesday, May 19: Restaurants will no longer have a capacity limit, but will be able to operate at any capacity allowing them to continue to ensure a minimum distance of six feet between groups.
For other indoor establishments or businesses currently subject to a percentage cap – church services, retail establishments, gyms and fitness clubs, personal care businesses, indoor and outdoor entertainment and recreation businesses, and indoor swimming pools and external – the current 50% capacity limits will be lifted and replaced with the requirement that a minimum of six feet of social distance between individuals and groups be maintained.
Murphy said the general indoor gathering limit, which applies to house parties and other purely social events, such as birthdays, will be doubled from 25 people to 50 people.
For catered events, funerals or memorial services, performances and political activities, which are currently limited to 50 percent of a room’s capacity up to a maximum of 250 people, will be limited to a maximum of 250 people as long as social distances can be maintained.
For sporting events or indoor concerts, all large indoor venues with 1,000 or more fixed seats can operate at 30%, while maintaining the requirement that groups with tickets remain at least six feet away from each other. ‘other, said Murphy.
“A reminder that for all indoor activities our current requirement that everyone wear a face mask except when eating or drinking is unchanged,” said Murphy.
New Jersey will also remove the limit on outdoor gatherings. “As a musician, it’s great,” said Vahe Sarkissian of Collingswood. “I can really work, and all those festivals that we would normally have in the summer can still be organized. “
Instead of a strict cap on attendance, Murphy said the state will require all participants in any outdoor event to maintain social distances of at least six feet and that current mask requirements will remain in place. square.
“This means that the events we all associate with summer, from fireworks and parades to state fair, can all take place as long as attendees keep a distance of six feet. And if the CDC revises its six-foot distance guidelines, we’ll revise our requirements accordingly, ”Murphy said.
Murphy also announced that some reopening stages scheduled for Monday May 10 have been postponed to Friday May 7:
This includes increasing the outdoor gathering limits to 500 people, increasing the capacity of indoor halls to 50% up to 250 people for political rallies, weddings, funerals, memorial services and performances. , and the reopening of dance floors at private events and increased capacity in large outdoor spaces. stadiums and venues with more than 1,000 seats for 50% of their capacity.
“We are confident to move this three-day schedule forward, given the accelerated progress we are seeing in our immunization schedule and hospital settings, and the declining number of daily cases,” said Murphy.
NJ will also lift the ban on seats inside the bar.
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According to Murphy, the Department of Health is currently finalizing its guidelines, but all affected restaurant, tavern and bar owners should be prepared to ensure good social distancing between patrons of their bars – a distance of 6 feet between seated groups. at the bar or physical. partitions.
“We are relying on restaurants and bar owners to enforce these guidelines and prevent congregating at the bar, as we have always warned that these situations pose a high risk of allowing the virus to spread,” Murphy said.
At Central Taco on Haddon Avenue in Haddonfield, managers are happy with the announcement.
“Bartenders are really excited, they’ll have faces at the bar. One of the great things about being a bartender is having these people in front of you, ”said bar manager Caitlin Ricci.
Indiya Restaurant in Collingswood said people called and asked when their buffet was going to reopen.
“Before, we were very busy on weekends, weekdays because everyone loves the buffet. They can try a lot of different dishes, ”said Jay Palacharla, who works at the restaurant.
For smaller restaurants, operators say it won’t make much of a difference.
“It will always be 50% for us. The table we have now is what we have until unfortunately people can be within 6 feet, ”said Christine Gunning, manager of the Pop Shop in Collingswood.
In addition, effective Friday, New Jersey will lift the ban on buffets and other self-service foods in restaurants.
“Again, full guidance is being finalized, but we will likely maintain current limitations requiring food and drink to be consumed while seated. Also, if you are not seated at your table while eating or drinking, you will need to continue to wear a mask, ”Murphy said.
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