As New Jersey gradually eases restrictions put on businesses during the COIVD-19 pandemic, the Township of North Bergen has put procedures in place to make it easier for restaurants to operate under the new guidelines.
Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order permitting outdoor dining with certain health and safety restrictions beginning Monday, June 15.
“Restaurants and bars throughout New Jersey have been immensely cooperative with necessary public health measures that were placed upon them while battling the COVID-19 pandemic,” Murphy said.
“Allowing outdoor dining and the expansion of alcohol-serving areas will allow restaurants and bars to begin welcoming customers back while continuing to comply with necessary social distancing guidance.”
According to the executive order, 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.
Per the reopening guidelines, restaurants will be limited to outdoor seating only for the immediate future. To cope with this, North Bergen has simplified and streamlined the application and approval process for outdoor seating at eating establishments.
The application is available online at: http://www.northbergen.org/_Content/pdf/forms/RESTAURANT-TEMPORARY-OUTDOOR-SEATING.pdf
The township is also waiving all application fees for outdoor seating during this emergency.
Mayor Nicholas Sacco and the township administration are working hard to support local businesses and to help them succeed during the ongoing pandemic.
The Township has encouraged residents to patronize local restaurants and other businesses, while observing appropriate health and social distancing protocols.
Other conditions of Murphy’s executive order
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 under the executive order.
Municipalities are permitted to use their existing authority to allow food or beverage establishments to expand their footprint to outdoor areas, both within their properties and among municipally-governed areas, including but not limited to sidewalks, streets, or parks.
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 interested 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.
This is part of Phase 2 of the reopening of the state, which also allows for a number of other businesses to resume operations under the new normal.
According to Gov. Murphy, salons and barbershops will be allowed to reopen on June 22. Gyms and fitness clubs will be permitted to reopen soon, though though a date has not yet been set.
Social distancing and masks and cloth face coverings will remain a necessary part of life as reopening continues.
Meanwhile, businesses must continue to operate at a reduced capacity.
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