Indoor Dining, Movie Theaters, Indoor Music Venues Allowed to Re-Open this Friday

This Friday is the day that the many businesses in the garden state have been clamoring for. Restaurants, movie theaters, and indoor music venues can operate, even if it is a limited capacity.

Restaurants will be required to operate under limited capacity and follow other safety guidelines.

Other restrictions on indoor dining mirror ones detailed when the state originally planned to allow it in early July include:

  • Patrons required to wear masks unless they are eating, under the age of 2, or have a health issue.
  • Staff members required to wear masks.
  • Tables spaced at least 6 feet apart.
  • Enhanced sanitation.
  • Guests placing orders only at a table and staffers bringing food and beverages only to tables.
  • Patrons barred from walking around while eating.
  • Limiting seating to a maximum of 8 customers per table — unless from an immediate family or the same household
  • Encouraging reservations for greater control of customer traffic.
  • Requiring customers to provide a phone number if making a reservation to facilitate contact tracing.

Murphy also announced that movie theaters and indoor music venues could resume serving patrons after nearly 6 months of being closed.

An Empty AMC Theater in Hamilton, NJ. Photo from Reddit

As with indoor dining both movies theaters and indoor venues will be capped at 25 percent of capacity or a maxiumum of 150 people.

Masks must be worn and social distance policy adhered to.

“We are able to take all these steps today because of the hard work millions of you have done to keep pushing down our positivity rate and our rate of transmission, and all the other health metrics we follow, to where we are comfortable and confident in taking them,” Murphy said during his regular COVID-19 briefing in Trenton.

Michele Siekerka, the president of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, said Murphy’s Monday announcement was “unfortunately long overdue.”

Murphy urged caution with the new freedoms to dine and celebrate in New Jersey.

“Because we are doing so does not mean, by any stretch, that we can let up on our vigilance even one bit,” he told reporters at his regular briefing on Monday. “We know this is a virus of opportunity.”

About The Author

Irving Lawrence Duckwald III is a freelance writer and blogger based in Central New Jersey. He has a penchant for fried chicken, fast cars, and fancy suits. With a knack for "setting the record straight", he can argue till the cows come home why it's Pork Roll and not Taylor Ham.