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Change Will Allow More NJ Restaurants To Offer Outdoor Dining

Casual Habana in Hackensack (pre-Coronavirus).
Casual Habana in Hackensack (pre-Coronavirus). Photo Credit: Casual Habana Hackensack, Facebook

A change that will allow more restaurants to offer outdoor dining will soon take effect in New Jersey.

Areas with fixed roofs that have two open sides comprising more than 50 percent of the total wall space will be considered outdoors because of the air flow, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Wednesday.

Indoor dining was set to resume in New Jersey last week, but Murphy postponed it days prior, citing "knucklehead behavior" at a handful of bars and restaurants across the state.

Doing so was one of the most difficult decisions Murphy and other state officials made, he said.

"I have nothing but sympathy for the businesses and employees impacted, but we're just not ready to open indoor dining," the governor said. "We must put public health before politics.

"As numerous states... follow our lead, we know it's the right call."

The COVID-19 shutdown limited eateries to pick-up and delivery only, forcing many of them closed.

Murphy did not say when the change will take effect.

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