NEWARK, NJ – Governor Phil Murphy says New Jersey restaurants will be able to reopen after the coronavirus shutdown and serve customers outdoors on June 15. What will the Newark reopening look like?

Since mid-March, Murphy has ordered restaurants to only offer takeout and delivery. As part of the state’s three-phase plan to reopen, restaurants are allowed to serve a limited number of dine-in customers on Monday at 6 a.m. – as long as they’re outdoors.

Customers are still not allowed to eat in the restaurant and must wear face masks when going to the bathroom or picking up a take-away order. Patrons with “medical reasons” or children under two years of age do not have to wear masks.

According to the governor, there are a few other rules. Some include:

  • The tables must be 6 feet apart
  • Only eight customers are allowed at each table
  • Employees must wear face masks and pass daily health checks
  • Self-service options such as buffets, salad bars or beverage stations are not permitted
  • All tables, chairs and menus must be disinfected after each use
  • There must be signs at the entrance stating that no one with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19 is allowed to enter

Each city can decide for itself how to safely open restaurants and bars outdoors, be it on a sidewalk, in a street, or in a park.

Alcohol-licensed restaurants can apply to the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) for temporary approval to set up outdoor drinking areas. It is the licensee’s responsibility to comply with local ordinances and site plan requirements.


Newark’s own reopening plan also enters phase two on June 15.

The city will allow outdoor dining under state guidelines and will continue to allow takeaway and roadside collection. All Newark businesses must apply to reopen in the city (see more here).

Newark restaurants looking to reopen must provide personal protective equipment to their employees and require customers to do the same.

All non-essential retail businesses in Newark can complete their online reopening application at or visit any of these listed locations for a hard copy application. Applications are FREE. There is NO FEE associated with a reopening permit.
– City of Newark (@CityofNewarkNJ) June 8, 2020

When are local restaurants allowed to let people eat inside? Possibly by June 29th when the third phase of Newark’s plan begins.

According to the city’s plan, restaurants in Newark may reopen for dinner if their seating capacity is below 25 percent. Restaurants must also adhere to the following rules:

  • Employers need to check workers for temperature
  • Strict social distancing (6 feet apart and with face masks) must be observed by employees and customers
  • Personal protective equipment must be worn in waiting areas, toilets or other public spaces

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