TRENTON, NJ – Gov. Phil Murphy has signed Executive Order No. 219, increasing indoor capacity limits from 25% to 35% for food and beverage establishments, and entertainment and recreational businesses, effective Fri Feb 5 at 8 a.m. The governor also lifted the 10 p.m. curfew for in-person indoor restaurant service. The executive order impacts the following:

  • Food or beverage establishments, including restaurants, cafeterias, private nonprofit clubs, food courts, and bars (The prohibition on seating at indoor bar areas remains in effect.)
  • Entertainment and recreational businesses, including casinos and gyms
  • Personal care services, including barber shops and nail salons
  • Religious ceremonies or services, political activities, wedding ceremonies, funerals, and memorial services that are currently limited to 25% of the room’s capacity up to 150 people will now be limited to 35% of the room’s capacity up to 150 people
  • Performances at entertainment centers, including movie theaters and performing arts centers, and concert venues, will similarly be capped at 35% up to a maximum of 150 people
  • Indoor meetings of addiction groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, will also be limited to 35% up to 150 individuals

However, local officials may continue to regulate the hours of operation of indoor restaurant service and indoor operations of other non-essential businesses after 8 p.m., as they have been able to since Nov 12 2020.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, my administration has used science data, and facts to guide our decision-making process,” said Gov. Murphy. “The downward trend of COVID-19 cases in our hospitals, coupled with the state’s decreasing rate of transmission, allows us to confidently expand our indoor capacity limits without leading to undue further stress on our health care systems."

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The Order also will rescind the previous statewide requirement that food and beverage establishments close their indoor areas to in-person service between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. each day. Casinos and any other retail, recreational or entertainment business open to the public may also resume indoor food and beverage service during those hours.

Municipalities and counties will still be permitted to impose hours of operation restrictions on nonessential businesses between the hours of 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. each day. This includes restrictions on dining in restaurants, although they cannot restrict takeout or delivery services. Municipalities and counties have been able to impose these hours restrictions since Nov 12 of last year.

 

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