NJ sets July 2 for restricted indoor dining, reopening of casinos

Aldo Lamberti in Cherry Hill
Photo credit Mike DeNardo/KYW Newsradio

UPDATED: 4:30 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — New Jersey restaurants may resume indoor dining, and casinos can reopen, on July 2, with limitations, according to Gov. Phil Murphy.

The governor said casinos may open their floors to 25% capacity, and indoor dining may resume, also at 25% capacity. He said more safety guidelines will be released in the next few days.

At first, all establishments will be limited to just 25% of their indoor capacity, keeping in mind that many restaurants and halls across the state have been able to utilize their outdoor capacities already,” he added.

BREAKING: On Thursday, July 2nd:--Casinos may reopen – operating at 25% capacity--️Indoor dining may resume – limited at first to 25% capacityAdditional health and safety guidance will be released within the next several days. pic.twitter.com/b4jY2fR3sp

— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) June 22, 2020

After three months of serving takeout, and having outdoor dining for the last week, that's welcome news for Rosita Lamberti. She manages the six Aldo Lamberti Family restaurants, two of which are in Cherry Hill.

Lamberti said she's awaiting full guidance from the state, but even at limited capacity, she's eager to have customers indoors again.

"We have a lot of private dining room space that we'll be able to use for a la carte dining. So we think that we'll be able to adjust our tables accordingly so that we can maximize the amount of guests that we can have," she said.

Lamberti said employees were furloughed when the restrictions were first imposed. But with indoor dining resuming, she's hopeful most if not all workers can be hired back.

Atlantic City's nine casinos have been waiting for a reopening date for weeks, even as casinos in other states reopened. 

Many of the casinos have been planning on their own for a reopening, and have adopted measures, including increased hand sanitizers and social distancing, to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Outdoor gatherings can also increase from 100 to 250 people, effective immediately. There is still no limit for outdoor religious or political activities. Indoor gatherings cannot exceed 100 people.

Murphy said these are the first of a number of reopening announcements coming later this week.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.