By Peter Szekely and Barbara Goldberg
(Reuters) – New Jersey and California on Monday took a big step toward letting businesses resume their pre-pandemic lives, by allowing restaurants to begin limited indoor dining, as coronavirus cases abated nationwide even as some new hotspots emerged.
Most states have already lifted restrictions on indoor, according to the National Governors Association.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said restaurants and movie theaters could open for indoor service on Friday for the first time since the coronavirus shutdown began in March. But they must limit indoor patrons to 25% of their capacity, and space seating between groups in accordance with social-distancing rules, Murphy said at a news conference.
“Masks are required to be worn at all times in the theater unless you’re pulling it down to put away a handful of popcorn,” Murphy said.
In California, where overly optimistic reopening plans were rolled back as