N.J. and NYC will expand indoor dining to 50 percent capacity beginning March 19

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday that indoor dining will be expanded to 50 percent capacity in the Garden State and in New York City beginning on March 19.

Currently, the New Jersey and New York City capacity limit for indoor dining is 35 percent. Other restaurants in New York State will be allowed to expand to 75 percent capacity beginning March 19.

“In New Jersey, we will continue to move deliberately, responsibly, and incrementally, guided by public health data,” Murphy said. “We feel confident in this step given the improving metrics we have seen over the last several weeks in both New Jersey and New York City, as well as the continued ramp-up of our vaccination program. Our states will continue to work together to protect the health of as many residents as possible.”

Officials said the capacity increases are part of both states’ continued efforts to jump-start their post-COVID19 recoveries and reinvigorate their economies. New Jersey last expanded indoor dining on Feb. 5. Since then, the number of hospitalizations in New Jersey has dropped and has remained consistent. New York City indoor dining was reopened on Feb. 12, and since then, two COVID-19 incubation periods have passed without any significant rise in infections and hospitalization rates. This expanded capacity is subject to strict state guidelines, officials said.   

“In New York State, our decisions are based on science and data and we are encouraged by the continued decline in infection and hospitalization rates,” Cuomo said. “In partnership with the State of New Jersey, we have adjusted with rigorous testing and limited capacity indoor dining openings in New York City to expand to 50 percent. We will continue to follow the science and react accordingly. If we keep the infections down and vaccinations up, we will continue to stay ahead in the footrace against this invisible enemy and reach the light at the end of the tunnel together.”