NJ Dining Laws and On-Campus Eateries

By Jhoana T. Merino-Martinez

News Editor

A crucial aspect of campus life is the dining universities provide their students. With the pandemic influencing hygiene and safety decisions, the state is also considering how it would affect food service altogether. 

In a roundtable episode on dining, state mandates on restaurants were discussed in the context of its possible similarities to university dining. This category of discussion is structured below. 

Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 150, allowing the reopening of outdoor dining for “food or beverage establishments”– such as restaurants, diners, food courts and bars– to be effective starting 6 am on Monday, June 15. 

In his executive order, Murphy included guidelines that food and beverage establishments must follow with outdoor dining: 

  • Limit capacity to ensure patrons maintain six feet apart from each other at all times, with the exception of those who wish to share a table. 
  • For outdoor seating, it is prohibited for patrons to go back inside for any other reason besides entering or exiting, or to use the restroom. 
  • Face masks will also be required, unless the person has a medical reason against it, or the child is under two years of age. 
  • Smoking is prohibited in any outdoor seating area that is meant for food and beverage consumption, only until indoor seating is available and functional again.

More recently, Executive Order No. 157 described the circumstances for indoor dining to be effective for July 2nd. These include:

  • Limiting capacity to 25% of the maximum store capacity, excluding the employees.
  • Only serve to patrons who are seated, as well as only allowing seated patrons to order
  • Provide employees sufficient break times for repeated hand washing throughout their shift
  • Arrange contact-less pay, pick-up and delivery options, considering patrons who may not have access to internet
  • Frequently sanitize areas that are highly contacted like bathrooms, counters and keypads. 
  • Employees and patrons are still required to have face masks, with the same guidelines for outdoor dining.  

While this order has been temporarily set back on Monday, June 29, due to the perceived lack of social distancing and spike in coronavirus cases, the above guidelines are expected to be put in place when it is deemed safe to.

FDU announced on July 7 a similar procedure offering take out and outside eating options similar to procedures of restaurants.

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Art by Elizabeth Scalzo.

Campus dining to follow restaurant guidelines.