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No, Restaurants in New Jersey Do Not Have to Close at 8pm

TRENTON-One of the confusing items circulating social media today is the notion that restaurants have to close at 8 as per New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s Executive Order #104.  Here’s what the executive order actually does say.

All restaurants, dining establishments, and food courts, with or without a liquor license, all bars, and all other holders of a liquor license with retail consumption privileges, are permitted to operate their normal business hours, but are limited to offering only food delivery and/or take-out services. If alcoholic beverages are to be sold from a restaurant, dining establishment or bar with a liquor license, such sales shall be limited to original containers sold from the principal public barroom. All retail sales of alcoholic beverages by limited brewery licensees, restricted brewery licensees, plenary and farm winery licensees (and associated salesrooms), craft distillery licensees and cidery and meadery licensees must be in original containers and must be delivered by licensed entities and/or by customer pick up.

Other non-essential retail, recreational, and entertainment businesses must cease daily operations from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.. From 5:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., these businesses may remain open if they limit their occupancy to no more than 50 persons and adhere to social distancing guidelines. Examples of essential businesses excluded from this directive include: grocery/food stores, pharmacies, medical supply stores, gas stations, healthcare facilities and ancillary stores within healthcare facilities. The State Director of Emergency Management, who is the superintendent of State Police, shall have the discretion to make additions, amendments, clarifications, exceptions, and exclusions to the list of essential businesses and to the timelines applicable to operating hours.

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You can read the order in its entirety here.

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