Bar Seating Opening May 7; Full Capacity Indoor Dining May 19



  • Indoor bar-side seating will be allowed with 6 foot social distancing or barriers maintained. There is no congregating allowed still. Murphy said if the CDC recommends decreasing the space to 3 foot, the mandate will be decreased to 3 foot as well.
  • Murphy said his biggest worry in the open of the bar seating is that people gather and stand around at bars.
  • Buffets and self-serve foods at restaurants will be allowed.
  • Diners will still be required to keep masks on while not eating.

The following openings were scheduled for May 10 but were moved up to May 7:

  • Outdoor gatherings increased to 500 people.
  • Indoor room capacity increased to 50% capacity or a maximum or 250 people for private catered events, political gatherings, weddings, funerals, memorial services, and performances.
  • Dance floors will be open at private catered events, with social distancing.
  • Outdoor capacity for large venues (1,000 or more fixed seats) increases to 50%.


(predicated on the continued progress on the health front)

  • There will be no indoor seating capacity for indoor dining. The maximum of 8 people at a table will no longer be required. The only requirement is that 6 foot social distancing must be maintained between tables or have a physical barrier.
  • The capacity limits for outdoor and indoor settings for businesses currently governed by a percentage based cap will be lifted. Six foot distancing will still be required between individuals and groups.
  • The capacity for general indoor gatherings has been increased to 50%.
  • Indoor catered events, funerals, memorial services, political activities, and commercial gatherings will be limited to a maximum of 250 people to maintain social distancing.
  • Indoor capacity for large venues (1,000 or more fixed seats) can increase to 30%, with six feet of distance between ticketed groups.


Murphy said that the number of vaccinations in the state are decreasing. He said he expected this and to keep people getting vaccinated, the state has begun Operation: Jersey Summer. This involves:

  • a multi-media awareness campaign
  • walk in appointments at all six mega-sites
  • having the mega-sites operate as a “hub and spoke” of vaccinations to get the shots into community centers and local doctor’s offices
  • municipal level data on the state’s website
  • a covid corp field campaign with people knocking on people doors with information
  • proactive automated outgoing calls where a person can be connected to someone to make an appointment for them; an email campaign
  • “Grateful for the Shot” where the state works with houses of worship to get worshipers to vaccination clinics
  • “Shot & A Beer” where 13 breweries in the state will give anyone of legal drinking age a free beer if they are vaccinated in May.
  • Murphy put things in 1945 terms when he said, “We have been at war for the past 14 months with this virus and just as in that era, we are winning this war. But then and now we’re still losing too many of our comrades. So, what this is, Operation Jersey Summer, this is our ambitious effort, again unlike any other effort in any other American state, to drop the hammer. It’s time to take Berlin and to put a stake into the heart of this virus.”
  • There have been 155,500 state residents that have been fully vaccinated from vaccination clinics outside of the state. That brings the statewide fully vaccinated total to 3.25 million.
  • There are only 17 schools in the state on all remote learning. This is down from 47 last Monday.
  • Our hospitalization numbers (1,424) haven’t been this low since June 2020.
  • Statewide positivity for tests drawn on April 29 was 4.94%. In North Jersey 4.47%, Central Jersey 4.76%, South Jersey 6.78%.
  • Walk-in vaccinations are being done at all six state mega-vaccination sites. The Gloucester County site’s hours are 8 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • There are a total of 3,147 CDC variants of concern reported: 2,901 UK variant, 97 Brazilian, 7 South African, 142 California.
  • There is 1 new multi-system inflammatory syndrome for a total of 116 in the state.
  • LOCAL LONG TERM CARE FACILITY CHANGES: Atrium +1 resident case (7), -1 staff case (0); Manorcare Washington Twp. +2 staff cases (40); Golden +1 staff case (5); Southgate +18 resident cases (18), +12 staff cases (14); Carneys Point Care +1 staff case (3).

“We want one last huge battle to run this thing into the ground once and for all. Let’s keep it up, Keep getting vaccinated. Keep using your common sense. We are getting there, and we will get there together”, Murphy said.

— by Karen E. Viereck, Editor/Publisher

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