The Department of Health today issued revised guidance on Covid-19 health and safety protocols related to indoor and outdoor dining, in accordance with the provisions of Executive Order No. 194 from Gov. Phil Murphy.
Per Murphy’s Executive Order No. 194, effective Thursday, Nov. 12, all restaurants, bars, clubs, and lounges that serve food and drink must close their indoor premises for business by 10 p.m. each day, and cannot open until at least 5 a.m. the following day. Outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery services may continue past 10 p.m.
Food and beverage establishments will no longer be permitted to provide bar seating to customers. Standing in the bar area is also prohibited. Table seating must be at least six feet away from the bar.
Tables where individuals are seated should be six feet apart in all directions from any other tables where customers are dining. Where six feet of distance is not feasible between tables, establishments must enact physical barriers between tables. The barriers must be between five and six feet high and must not be within 18 inches of a sprinkler head or block emergency and/or fire exits.
Physical barrier options include plexiglass or other non-porous dividers or partitions. The barriers must not restrict air flow throughout the restaurant.
“The department has revised its guidance to establish additional precautionary measures to protect the health of both customers and staff,” said Judith Persichilli, New Jersey’s health commissioner. “The guidance also provides flexibility for restaurants to continue to offer outdoor dining opportunities.”
Establishments still must 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. The department’s guidance allows for the use of structures, such as domes, for outdoor dining. No more than eight individuals are permitted to dine together at a time. The structure should be ventilated for a minimum of 15 minutes and cleaned and sanitized between seatings.