New Jersey's indoor malls have an opening date.
New Jersey State Police Col. Pat Callahan will be signing an administrative order to allow the reopening of indoor portions of malls on Monday, June 29, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Thursday.
Non-essential retail shopping including outdoor portions of malls were allowed to reopen Monday after weeks of being closed due to coronavirus.
The move comes as a delight to some New Jersey mayors, who earlier this month formed a coalition in hopes of persuading state officials to reopen the malls.
Here are the rules for shopping at indoor malls:
- Face masks are required to be worn
- All stores are limited to 50 percent capacity
- Restaurants may provide take-out or outdoor dining
- Food court seating and common seating areas remain closed
- Theaters and arcades remain closed
"Malls are part of New Jersey culture and lure," Murphy said.
"We want these businesses to get back up and running responsibly and safely. If you head out to the mall, please comply with the requirements in place."
Paramus Mayor Rich LaBarbiera had been one of the local officials advocating for the reopening of malls.
"I've always said, 'If the malls were to sneeze, we would catch a cold,'" the mayor said.
"It’s exciting to see businesses and their employees given a chance. At least they can turn the lights on and put people to work. If the consumer wants to shop -- that’s up to them."
The retail shutdown has been impacting the malls, tenants and their employees for several weeks. The borough won't feel it for "a while," LaBarbiera said.
"Fifty percent of the borough's tax base is comprised of commercial properties, so we've been dependent on their success," said the mayor, noting the proceeds of the sales tax goes to the state, while the borough benefits from property taxes.
"Everyone sees this as the end of the shutdown," LaBarbiera said. "I see it as the beginning of a new opportunity. We’re excited."
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