A city in New Jersey is defying Gov. Phil Murphy’s orders by planning to permit restaurant guests to sit inside while dining as early as next week. Restaurant dining rooms have remained closed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Asbury Park, a small city on the state’s coast, approved a resolution Wednesday, which would allow restaurants and bars to have limited indoor seating for customers. According to the resolution passed by City Council, beginning Monday, restaurants can host 25 percent of the dining room’s capacity, but the number of guests may never exceed 50 people, “regardless of the capacity of the room.”
All customers must still wear masks and practice social distancing of six feet.
In addition to allowing patrons to dine indoors, the resolution also outlined other measures for retail businesses and restaurants to open up, allowing for establishments to apply for permits to use outdoor space for dining and displays.
Gov. Murphy had said outdoor dining can return in the state beginning June 15 and increased limit on indoor gatherings to 25 percent, or 50 people, whichever was lower, earlier this week. However, he specifically said that was in regard to religious gatherings, and confirmed that indoor dining was still not allowed.