NJ To Reopen Indoor Restaurant Dining, Movie Theaters On Friday


New Jersey is expanding the indoor activities allowed under the state's COVID-19 restrictions.

Beginning Friday, September 4, indoor dining will resume in the Garden State, although restaurants will be limited to 25 percent capacity and tables must be placed at least six feet apart.

Masks must be worn by patrons and staff at all times, except when sitting at a table.

Movie theaters and indoor performance venues may also reopen beginning Friday but with capacity limited to either 25 percent of a venue's capacity or 150 people. Face masks and social distancing will be required.

Murphy added that capacity limits for religious services and celebrations, weddings, funerals, memorial services and political activities may also resume at 25 percent capacity or 150 individuals at maximum.

"We're able to take so many steps forward today because of the hard work millions of you have done to keep pushing down our health metrics," Murphy said in a statement. "But we can't let up on our vigilance even one bit. Let's all be safe and responsible."

New Jersey, the nation's most densely-populated state, has also endured the most COVID-19 deaths per capita of any U.S. state with nearly 16,000.

At one point this spring, state cemeteries were working employees around the clock in an attempt to keep up with an influx of burials.

Indoor dining has been linked to new coronavirus outbreaks in several states. Officials in the Northeast have been cautious about loosening restrictions on indoor activities.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio suggested early Monday that the city could still be months away from allowing patrons to eat indoors at restaurants again.

Photo: Getty Images

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