NJ Could Allow Towns To Permit Public Drinking, Sidewalk Sales


New Jersey towns would be permitted to close off streets and allow local bars and restaurants to allow eating, drinking and retail sales on roadways and sidewalks under a new bill.

The measure would allow towns to close streets to vehicular traffic in favor of pedestrians between Thursday and Sunday.

The bill has passed the New Jersey state Senate and was advanced in an Assembly committee on Wednesday.

Patrons would still be required to observe social distancing

Bars and restaurants would also be allowed to move tables onto sidewalks or into roadways to serve food and alcoholic beverages. Requirements to maintain social distance and use personal protective equipment would be enforced municipally.

Businesses would also have to sign an agreement holding the municipality harmless for claims of COVID-19 transmission arising from the activity.

Earlier this month, the state gave permission for towns to allow consumption of alcoholic beverages in specified outdoor areas. The new bill would conditionally expand that available space.

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