I add the caveat because Phil Murphy has done it before. As The Infatuation reminds us, the governor, who planned to resume indoor dining on July 6, got cold feet at the last minute. Back then of course the number of infections was much higher. The new relaunch date will be Sept. 4. But (big but) restaurants will be limited to 25% of their normal capacity. (Notice also the hint of another possible bluff — “may resume indoor dining” — in this tweet.)
NEW: Restaurants statewide will be able to open for indoor dining beginning this FRIDAY at 25% capacity and with social distancing between tables.
Reopening responsibly will help us restore one of our state’s key industries while continuing to make progress against #COVID19. pic.twitter.com/EPdEfi5Dmh
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) August 31, 2020
In addition, NorthJersey.com notes, there are some added provisos:
The restaurants should provide guides, such as tape on floors, to keep customers at least 6 feet apart while they wait to be seated or to use the restrooms.
Diners must wear masks when not in their seats, Murphy said, and can order only while seated. They cannot, for example, walk to the bar to order another drink. They should also keep masks on while waiting for their food.
Staff must keep masks on at all times.
And restaurant windows must be fully open and air conditioner units turned to allow maximum airflow into dining rooms.
For those of you aching for their first fix of restaurant dining in six months, this may be worth a trip across the river. Then again, with the A/C at full blast and the windows open, the experience may just be as horrible as it sounds.