NEWARK, NJ — With Newark’s local lockdown officially over, the city released a new set of rules for restaurants and gatherings on Friday outlining restrictions going forward into a winter of uncertainty.
Mayor Ras Baraka issued a 10-day lockdown “advisory” from Nov. 25 to Dec. 4, which limited restaurants to takeout only and set strict curfews in the city’s COVID-19 hotspots. The city said 53 businesses were shut down for violating the state’s executive order, but did not respond to questions about what the violations were or where the businesses were located.
"I want to thank the great majority of Newark residents and businesses that cooperated with our lockdown that began the day before Thanksgiving and ended today,” Mayor Baraka said. “Our collective efforts have resulted in early data that shows our positivity rate has dropped and we anticipate further declines when we have data from the full shutdown period.”
City officials are hailing the shutdown as “effective” in reducing the number of people infected with COVID-19. Previously, Newark’s positivity rate soared above 21% and 50% in the East Ward, but has now been reduced to 17%.
“We also doubled our testing efforts during the period and are encouraged by the numbers of people who got tested, which is evidence that Newark residents are heeding our words to continue to take this disease very, very seriously,” Baraka said. “Despite some outlier businesses cited for violations, the entire City appreciates the sacrifices made by the residents and businesses who continue to fulfill their civic duty to help keep everyone safe.”
The guidelines are as follows:
-Tents and canopies are allowed for outdoor dining past Nov. 30 provided that they meet the snow bearing requirements from Dec. 5 to March 31, 2021.
- Businesses must maintain a permit for tents and a UCC permit is also required for any electrical equipment, wiring or mechanical equipment.
-Tents that are already established must be inspected to ensure compliance with winter conditions and snow loads.
- Alternative tents, such as dining domes, igloos and huts are permitted for outside dining subject to restrictions. While they don’t need UCC permits, they are limited to less than 120 sq. feet in area.
-The Fire Department must approve all temporary outdoor heating.
-Seating is limited to a maximum of eight customers per table unless from an immediate family or same household.
-Random inspections will be conducted by Code Enforcement
RESTAURANTS, BUSINESSES AND WORKPLACES
- If any employee tests positive for the virus and has contact with the business, then the establishment must close for a minimum of two days. The first 24 hours after the mandatory closing, the business must be vacant and on the second day it must be cleaned.
-All non-essential businesses must continue to close at 8 p.m. on weekdays and 9 p.m. on weekends. All outside dining ends at 9 p.m. daily. Takeout and delivery can continue until 11 p.m. daily.
-A mandatory 9 p.m. curfew will continue to be enforced on weekdays and 10 p.m. on weekends in zip code 07105 and 07104.
- No parties or holiday parades will be sanctioned by the city.
- Gatherings and events are limited to no more than 10 people excluding restrictions to First Amendment rights.