On Monday, August 31st, Governor Phil Murphy announced that theaters can reopen in the Garden State this week. With the date set for this Friday, September 4th, the experience might not be quite the same.
After emergency orders demanded the shutting of nonessential businesses in March, theaters were obviously among the first down. Now they join the ranks of hair salons and gyms, cautiously reemerging under new rules.
Patrons can expect familiar strictures about staying socially distant and wearing face masks at all times. Theaters will also obey reduced-capacity regulations; owners must cap their patronage at 25% capacity or a maximum of 150 people—whichever is smaller.
Theater owners aren’t alone on Friday, either. Per the governor’s order, indoor dining can also resume in New Jersey under similar guidelines.
“We are able to take all these steps today because of the hard work millions of you have done to keep pushing down our positivity rate and our rate of transmission…to where we are comfortable and confident in taking them,” said Murphy at a briefing in Trenton. “Because we are doing so does not mean, by any stretch, that we can let up on our vigilance even one bit…There is no room for error, and no excuse for being a knucklehead.”
In addition to movie theaters, the rule applies to all indoor performing venues . The move indicates a further shift toward Phase 3 of the governor’s response plan, though some official metrics for Phase 3 are still not reached.
To view the governor’s full address, click here.
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