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Outdoor Dining Protocols Announced

Gov. Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 150, permitting outdoor dining starting on Monday, June 15, with an accompanying Executive Directive from the New Jersey Department of Health that lays out health and safety standards that food or beverage establishments are required to follow.

Establishments will be required to follow a number of COVID-19 health and safety protocols issued by the Department of Health, including a limit of eight customers per table, and requirements of at least six feet of distance between parties. In addition, for as long as indoor dining is not permitted, food or beverage establishments are required to prohibit smoking in any outdoor areas designated for the consumption of food and/or beverages.

The Order further notes that municipalities are permitted to use their existing authority to allow food or beverage establishments to expand their footprint to outdoor areas, both within their property and among municipally-governed areas, including but not limited to sidewalks, streets, or parks.

Additionally, a special ruling by the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) will temporarily permit establishments with liquor licenses to expand their licensed premises into outdoor areas that are either contiguous or non-contiguous to their permanently licensed premises. Establishments may apply through the POSSE ABC Online Licensing system, and if approved will be issued a temporary permit effective on June 15 that will run until November 14, 2020. ABC will not take action on any application until it receives an endorsement or approval by the appropriate governing body officials, and it is the responsibility of the licensee to comply with local ordinances and site plan requirements.