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Indoor dining returns to New Jersey with strict rules

Posted at 5:46 AM, Sep 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-04 18:22:40-04

NEW JERSEY — New Jersey restaurants finally reopened their doors for customers to come inside for the first time in nearly six months. The reopening comes with some strict safety protocols.

Indoor dining — along with movie theaters and indoor performance venues — resumed at 25% capacity beginning 6 a.m. Friday.

Masks are mandatory for staff and customers if they are standing.

Groups dining together can not be larger than eight unless it's immediate family. Parties sitting at the bar will be capped at four.

Parties dining inside will be socially distanced with tables at least six feet apart.

Many restaurant owners in the Garden State said they're ready to reopen but think it's long overdue.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy had initially gave the green light for indoor dining in July but then pulled the plug amid a nationwide spike in cases. Murphy then said in late August that now is the right time.

While New Jersey restarts indoor dining, New York City appears no closer to doing so.

Just across the river, restaurants in NYC are filing lawsuits against the city and state over their indoor dining remaining closed.

Meanwhile, officials in Westchester and Nassau counties, which neighbor New York City, have confirmed to PIX11 News there have been no clusters or upticks in COVID-19 cases linked to indoor dining.