Subject to certain restrictions, outdoor dining and non-essential retail shopping will be permitted in New Jersey beginning June 15, 2020, at 6:00 a.m., under Executive Order 150 (EO 150).
EO 150 marks the state’s entry into Phase Two of the Governor’s Road Back Plan. Businesses must prepare to comply with the requirements to resume limited operations.
EO 150 permits restaurants, bars, and other establishments to offer outdoor dining, subject to the following seven conditions:
The Department of Health issued Executive Directive 20-014, in conjunction with EO 150. The Directive sets additional protocols and policies that any establishment offering outdoor dining must implement. These restrictions apply to business protocols, employees of the establishments, and customers.
Interestingly, the restrictions do not limit restaurant capacity; instead, allowing establishments to operate at a capacity that permits the requisite distancing provided in the EO 150 and Executive Directive. Furthermore, the Directive mandates any establishment that takes a reservation to obtain the customer’s telephone number to facilitate contact tracing. The state likely will request that information from any such establishment in the event of a COVID-19 infection.
EO 150 further permits municipalities to authorize establishments to expand their respective footprints (e.g., in sidewalks, streets, and parks) to adhere to the requirements in EO 150, as well as the Executive Directive.
EO 150 permits the brick-and-mortar premises of non-essential retail businesses to operate, provided those businesses follow Paragraph 1 of Executive Order 122. The Governor, in a subsequent announcement, clarified that indoor malls remain closed and only retail business with exterior access may operate in Phase Two.
Such businesses must adopt policies that, at a minimum, include:
Businesses must provide workers with gloves and facial coverings at the expense of the company. If a customer refuses to wear the required cloth face covering for non-medical reasons, the business must refuse entry to the customer if the business cannot provide such coverings to the customer at the point of entry.
Companies must ensure that locations operating under these restrictions meet all of the requirements in the Executive Order and Directive. Failure to do so may result in penalties including, but not limited to, civil fines, and imprisonment.
Reopening orders contain extensive requirements creating compliance issues that can vary significantly depending on the specific state or local jurisdiction.