ASSEMBLY, No. 5136







Sponsored by:


District 6 (Burlington and Camden)

Assemblyman  GORDON M. JOHNSON

District 37 (Bergen)


District 31 (Hudson)


Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman Benson






     Concerns restaurant safety during coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.



     As introduced.


An Act concerning restaurant safety during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.


     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:


     1.    Restaurants, cafeterias, dining establishments, and food courts, with or without a liquor license, bars, and all other holders of a liquor license with retail consumption privileges, collectively referred to as “food or beverage establishments,” may offer in-person service at indoor areas, provided that the establishment complies with the requirements of this section. In order to offer in-person service in an indoor area, a food or beverage establishment shall:

     a.     Limit the number of patrons in indoor areas to the capacity limit established pursuant to Executive Order No. 183 or any subsequent Executive Order or law concerning the capacity limits of food or beverage establishments during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, excluding the food or beverage establishment’s employees;

     b.    (1)  Ensure that tables where individuals or groups are seated are six feet apart in all directions from any other table or seat and that individual seats in any shared area that is not reserved for individual groups, such as an indoor bar area, are also six feet apart in all directions from any other table or seat, or;

     (2)   if six feet of distance is not feasible, ensure that a seating area be separated by a physical barrier to minimize contact: physical barrier options include plexiglass or other non-porous dividers or partitions, the barriers shall be between five and six feet high, shall not be within 18 inches of a sprinkler head or block emergency or fire exits, and shall not restrict airflow throughout the restaurant;

     c.     Require indoor patrons to wear face coverings while inside the indoor premises of the food or beverage establishment, until their food or drinks arrive and after individuals have finished consuming their food or drinks, unless the patron has a medical reason for not wearing a face covering or is a child under two years of age;

     d.    Only allow patrons to place orders for indoor table service when they are seated at a table or bar, and require wait staff or other employees to bring food or beverages to seated patrons;

     e.     Only allow patrons to consume food or beverages while seated; and

     f.     Abide by all other health and safety standards issued by the Commissioner of the Department of Health consistent with her authority under the Emergency Health Powers Act, including infection control practices and other sanitation protocols.

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire upon the expiration of Executive Order No. 103, or any extension thereof or any replacement therefor.





     This bill concerns restaurant safety during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. The bill reproduces the section of Executive Order No. 183 of September 1st, 2020, that concerns indoor dining at food or beverage establishments. The bill reproduces the safety regulations of that executive order, including limiting the number of patrons in an establishment to 25% of their indoor capacity, ensuring that seating is separated by six feet from other seating, requiring patrons to wear facial coverings, only allowing patrons to order or consume food or drinks when they are seated, only allowing food or drink delivery by employees, and abide by other health and safety regulations.

     The bill adds the option for seating to be separated by a physical barrier instead of being separated by a distance of six feet. This is intended to allow restaurants in physically smaller spaces to meet their capacity.

     The bill expires upon the termination of Executive Order No. 183.