NJ Indoor Restaurant Mandates To Be Clarified by Murphy Administration

Indoor restaurant mandates will be clarified following a letter from the 11th Legislative District office regarding concerns from local restaurant owners.

NEPTUNE CITY - After investigating an issue that was reported by a constituent and Councilman David Calhoun, Senator Vin Gopal and Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey sent a letter through the proper channels regarding concerns and questions from local restaurant owners on certain indoor dining mandates. Governor Murphy has now clarified certain requirements pertaining to restaurants. 

The restriction to leave six feet between the bar and the closest table restriction left little room for small businesses to fit any tables inside their establishment. The restriction was also unclear as to where to start measuring the six foot distance from the bar. Governor Murphy has clarified this restriction to mean the six feet of distance between an indoor bar and tables is measured from the inside of the bar (i.e. where the bartender would stand); and if a bar area is not being used by employees/is blocked off, tables may be placed closer than 6 feet to the bar. 

“These clarifications will help many restaurant owners around the state who had a lot of questions after the changes to restaurant mandates were initially announced,” Senator Gopal (D-Long Branch) stated. “The Murphy Administration took the concerns of restaurant owners seriously, and I am thankful they moved swiftly to help clarify the restrictions restaurant owners are facing due to this global health crisis. I would also like to thank Councilman David Calhoun for bringing this issue to our attention. As the weather gets colder, businesses are working to make their restaurants safe for guests to enjoy indoor dining at a safe distance. These clarifications will help restaurants keep their businesses open during the winter months.”

“Thank you to Governor Murphy for working to help local restaurant owners who were concerned with the recent restrictions they were facing due to the six foot mandate from the bar,” said Assemblyman Houghtaling (D-Neptune). “With these new clarifications, restaurants can now utilize all of the space necessary to have both a safe and prosperous floor plan for their business.”

“The coronavirus pandemic has been very difficult for restaurant and small business owners up and down the state,” said Assemblywoman Joann Downey (D-Freehold). “While we still feel it is important for mandates to stay in place to ensure everyone’s safety, we appreciate the clarification Governor Murphy has given to these requirements so restaurants can function to the best of their abilities during these unprecedented times.”



Senator Vin Gopal and Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling & Joann Downey represent New Jersey’s 11th Legislative District in the State Senate and Assembly, where they work to make the Garden State more affordable for its hard-working residents. The 11th District includes the Monmouth County municipalities of Allenhurst, Asbury Park, Colts Neck, Deal, Eatontown, Freehold Borough, Freehold Township, Interlaken, Loch Arbour, Long Branch, Neptune City, Neptune, Ocean Township, Red Bank, Shrewsbury Borough, Shrewsbury Township, Tinton Falls and West Long Branch.