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What You Need To Know 

Starting June 15th New Jersey restaurants plan to open outdoor seating, under several conditions. Here at Wander, we want you to be prepared for what to expect when you start visiting your favorite spots again. 

Here are the hard and fast rules

As New Jersey begins Stage 2 of its reopening plan, Governor Phil Murphy officially signed Executive Order No. 150 (2020) that lays out the restrictions and guidelines restaurants and bars that plan to participate in the June 15th reopening must follow.

 1. Outdoor seating only

Establishments can only open to the public if they can offer outdoor dining options while still maintaining statewide health standards as well as those issued by the Department of Health.

2. Restaurants can get (a little) creative

As many restaurants don’t have designated outdoor seating spaces, they can use other areas of their property, such as alleyways, sidewalks, parking lots, and streets. In Jersey City, the Jersey City Pedestrian Plaza has been expanded by city officials to allow restaurants extra space. The Newark Pedestrian Mall has also been expanded and will now include Columbus Drive to First Street, First Street between Newark Avenue and Jersey Avenue, and Columbus Drive to Grand Street.

3. No smoking

Patrons must have the same smoke-free options they would have at the indoor location to ensure people can enjoy in-person dining without the fear of exposure to second-hand smoke.

4. Six feet apart

Restaurants must ensure that tables are six feet apart in all directions and that they limit the number of patrons to maintain that distance. They must also use physical demarcations (tape, ropes, signage) in areas customers may bunch up (restroom waiting area) to mark a distance of 6 feet.

5. Eight to a table

Only a maximum of eight customers is allowed per table.

6. No indoor entry

Patrons can’t enter the indoor premises except to use the restroom facilities or access the outdoor seating area.

7. Face masks for all

Patrons who walk through the indoor premises must wear a face covering while indoors. Restaurants can decline entry to their indoor space if customers try to enter without a face cover. Employees are also required to wear face masks and gloves when in contact with customers and when handling utensils, food, and other serving items.

8. Symptom signage

At the entrance, restaurants must place signs stating that no one with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19 should enter the establishment.

9. Disinfect and sanitize

Employees must disinfect all tables, chairs, and other shared items such as menus or pens, after each use. They must also frequently sanitize high-touch zones like credit card pads, counters, and doors.

10.  Daily health checks

Employees must be temperature screened and checked for symptoms daily before beginning work.

Here are some suggestions 

These suggestions come from the Department of Health and are for establishments and patrons alike.

1. Make a reservation

Reservations allow for greater control of customer traffic/volume to maintain social distancing.

2. Use digital menus

Digital menus offer a decreased surface area and are easier to sanitize. Patrons are also encouraged to look up menus online on their own devices to prevent unnecessary contact.

3. Wait in your car

It is recommended customers wait in their vehicle or away from the restaurant if waiting for a table in the outdoor seating area.

4. Wash your hands

As health professionals have been saying from the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak—Wash. Your. Hands. When that’s not possible hand sanitizer is the next best option.


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