NJ Restaurants And Bars That Can Open Two Walls Can Reopen For Indoor Dining
According to NJ.com, bars and restaurants that can open up two of their four walls will now be allowed to serve patrons inside, under an executive order Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed on Wednesday.
The order says that restaurants can offer indoor dining “if they have no roof or a fixed roof or temporary cover with at least two open sides that allows 50% of their wall space to open,” the report said. This move would be beneficial for some restaurants with open-air settings at the Jersey Shore and other areas.
“If you’ve got a restaurant that can open up two sides of your restaurant, you can have 50% of your wall space open,” the governor said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “We’re gonna allow you to have that under that roof, which is another step hopefully to help out our restaurants.”
At a coronavirus briefing in Trenton, Murphy said this loosening of restrictions was possible “because having half of a building’s wall space open allows for ample air flow,” NJ.com reported. Diane Weiss, an executive director of the New Jersey Licensed Beverage Association, applauded Murphy for the move. “This is welcome news to our industry, which has been so severely impacted due to the pandemic,” Weiss said. “It is our hope greater measures will be taken to allow our businesses to recover and avert filing for bankruptcy.”
The governor added that indoor dining at traditional four-walled bars and restaurants will “remain on hold until the pressure from the virus eases. Outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery are still allowed,” the report continued. Even though the state's number of new COVID-19 cases, deaths, and hospitalizations “have dropped significantly, Murphy announced two weeks ago that he was canceling plans to allow indoor dining at 25% capacity starting July 2. He cited fear over rising cases in other states and packed crowds at eateries that have reopened for outdoor dining in New Jersey.”
“We’re doing everything that we can,” Murphy said. “And, God willing, we’ll get to indoor dining, I hope, at some point in a reasonable future.”