Governor Murphy not ready to expand indoor dining limits, urges outdoor dining this spring and summer

Murphy gun shy on expanding indoor dining capacity as summer nears but supports expanded outdoor dining

New York / USA - October 3 2020: An empty outdoor restaurant in downtown Manhattan. Covid outdoor dining

TRENTON, NJ – Governor Phil Murphy remains hesitant to pull back the restrictions on indoor dining, currently capped at 50% capacity as the pandemic in his state starts to ebb. New Jersey has been one of the nation’s leaders in the vaccination effort and the results are showing.

Murphy said he’s not ready to increase indoor dining capacity yet.

“And a reminder to our restaurants who we know are anxious to expand dining capacities as the weather continues to get warmer, that outdoor dining is not subject to any numerical capacity limitation, unlike in indoor dining, which remains at 50% capacity at the moment. The only limitation for outdoor dining is physical spaces,” Murphy said. “I certainly look forward to our ability to increase indoor dining capacities in the near future. But until that time, we want to make sure that our dining establishments, though, they could go forward to maximize their outdoor footprints.”

Murphy urged local municipalities and businesses to work together to facilitate outdoor dining as the weather warms.

“We’ve noted here before how many of our restaurants in their host communities have gotten incredibly creative and flexible in allowing for outdoor dining and many of the steps we took last summer in support of our restaurants are now a matter of state law. We know increased outdoor dining is here to stay,” Murphy said.

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