Bill Text: NJ A5133 | 2020-2021 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Expands indoor capacity for food or beverage establishments and banquet and wedding venues under certain circumstances during coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.*

Spectrum: Moderate Partisan Bill (Democrat 14-4)

Status: (Engrossed) 2021-05-06 - Reported from Senate Committee with Amendments, 2nd Reading [A5133 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2020-A5133-Introduced.html

ASSEMBLY, No. 5133

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED DECEMBER 10, 2020

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  LOUIS D. GREENWALD

District 6 (Burlington and Camden)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes requirements for restaurants to operate during public health emergency declared in response to coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning indoor consumption of food or beverages during the public health emergency declared in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    a. During the public health emergency declared by the Governor in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, any restaurant or dining establishment, or banquet or wedding venue, in any indoor area on its premises, shall limit the number of customers or patrons served up to:

     (1)   25 percent of the establishment's capacity if the establishment does not certify as to the measures it is taking in accordance to paragraph (2) of this subsection to mitigate the risks of coronavirus disease 2019; or

     (2)   50 percent of the establishment's capacity if:

     (a)   the establishment is in a region of the State that is designated by the Department of Health as having a coronavirus disease 2019 activity level of moderate or lower based on the most up to date activity report issued by the Department of Health;

     (b)   the establishment certifies to the county board of health in which the restaurant is located that the establishment has:

     (i)    Installed barriers of plexi-glass, plastic, or some other material that has been approved by the commissioner between each table;

     (ii)   Limited parties dining together 10 or fewer individuals;

     (iii) provided the county board of health with information on the restaurant's capacity at 100 percent, 50 percent, and 25 percent; and

     (iv)  Where there is a presumptive positive or positive case of an employee, guest, visitor, or vendor, shut down immediately to disinfect, notify the county board of health and all employees, guests, visitors, or vendors, while adhering to all confidentiality requirements in accordance with the federal "Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990" (42 U.S.C. s.12101 et seq.) and any other applicable laws pertaining to privacy or confidentiality of medical information;

     (c)   the establishment creates and submits a certified coronavirus disease 2019 preparedness plan, in a form created by the Department of Health, to the county board of health, which includes:

     (i)    employee protocols on how to monitor for signs and symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019, including a policy for employees to report their signs and symptoms prior to entering the workplace and for employees to report when they are sick,

     (ii)   a policy on presumptive or actual positive coronavirus disease 2019 cases of any employee, guest, visitor or vendor that requires the business to suspend operations immediately for cleaning and disinfection in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance prior to restarting operations;

     (iii)   an outline of its sick leave policy, including a certification of its compliance with all requirements under the "Family Leave Act," P.L.1989, c.261 (C.34:11B-1 et seq.), the federal "Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993," Pub.L.103-3 (29 U.S.C. s.2601 et seq.), P.L.2018, c.10 (C.34:11D-1 et seq.), P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-25 et seq.), to the extent those laws are applicable, and any other applicable State or federal laws regarding leave;

     (iv)   a policy to ensure adequate social distancing by maintaining a distance of at least six feet between individuals, or groups of individuals, in the establishment, whether the individuals are patrons or employees, to the extent possible;

     (v)   where it is not possible to maintain a distance of six feet between individuals, a policy to erect barriers between individuals, which shall include the type of barrier utilized,

     (vi)   imit to the number of patrons that may be seated together at the same time;

     (vii)    requiring each employee to wash hands immediately after entering the building and frequently throughout the employee's shift;

     (viii)   the installation of hand-sanitizer dispensers or stations at the entrance of the establishment and in areas throughout the establishment for employees and patrons to be used for hand hygiene in addition to soap and water in restrooms;

     (ix)   requiring masks for all employees who are in direct contact with patrons, making masks available to all employees at no cost to the employees, and requiring masks be worn by all patrons until drinks or meals arrive at the table;

     (x)    ventilation protocols that include the maintenance of all building systems and an ongoing assessment of the amount of fresh air and air recirculation in the establishment, and ensuring that ventilation systems are being properly used;

     (xi)   cleaning and disinfection protocols that identify who is cleaning and disinfecting if there is a presumptive or positive case of coronavirus disease 2019, require that there will be frequent cleaning and disinfecting of all food surfaces, including but not limited to, equipment, including restrooms, high touch areas, meeting rooms, host stations, railings, credit card readers, counters, and menus, and require that tables, chairs, and other shared items will be cleaned and disinfected after each use;

     (xii)  signage protocols to inform customers to remain at least six feet apart while in the establishment, and signage at the entrance with the certification that the establishment has met the requirements of this act is allowed to serve patrons at 50 percent capacity; and

     (xiii) communication and training protocols to ensure that all employees have access to the preparedness plan required under this paragraph and that all employees are properly trained to comply with the preparedness plan;

     (d)   the establishment agrees to conduct contact tracing in the event or a presumptive positive case or a positive case, which shall include such preemptive measures as maintaining records of the names and contact information of all persons who enter the establishment; and

     (e)   the establishment certifies that it is in compliance with all other applicable State and federal laws.

      b.   (1)  A restaurant or dining establishment may submit an application to operate at 50 percent capacity indoors at any time to the county board of health, which shall review and determine eligibility to operate at 50 percent capacity within seven days of receipt of the establishment's application.

      c.    If a region's activity level of coronavirus disease 2019 increases above moderate as determined in the Department of Health's "Covid-19 Activity Report," all establishments within the region shall decrease their indoor operations to a maximum of 25 percent capacity of the establishment's capacity.

      d.   Any person may report a suspected violation of this act to the appropriate county board of health.  The board of health or county health department to which the violation was reported shall investigate the alleged violation. If it is determined that the establishment violated the provisions of this act, the county board of health shall have the discretion to reduce the capacity of the establishment to 25 percent until the violation is remediated to the satisfaction of the county board of health.

      e.    The Department of Health shall routinely update and publish its "Covid-19 Activity Level Report" and distribute the report, as updated, to all the county boards of health in a timely manner.

     This department shall post this information on its website and report its findings to each county on a monthly basis.

      f.    Nothing in this act shall be construed to relieve a restaurant or dining establishment, or a banquet or wedding venue, of any requirement established by any other law or regulation. 

      g.   Notwithstanding the provisions of this act, if the Governor issues an executive order permitting restaurants, dining establishments, or banquet or wedding venues, to operate at a higher capacity than 25 percent indoors without compliance with the requirements of this act, the requirements of this act shall not prohibit such establishments from operating in accordance with the Governor's executive order.

      h.   The Commissioner of Health, in consultation with the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development shall establish rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this act.

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire upon the termination of the public health emergency and any extensions thereof declared by the Governor in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill provides for the operation of indoor food or beverage establishments during the public health emergency declared in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.  Restaurants or dining establishments, or banquet or wedding venues, are required to limit the number of customers or patrons served indoors to up to 25 percent of the establishment's capacity without taking any additional measures to mitigate the risks of coronavirus disease 2019 required in the bill of an establishment serving patrons indoors up to 50 percent of the establishment's capacity.

     An establishment in a region of the State that is designated by the Department of Health as having a coronavirus disease 2019 activity level of moderate or lower based on the most up to date activity report issued by the department is permitted to serve customers or patrons indoors up to 50 percent of the establishment's capacity if the establishment certifies to the county board of health that the establishment has instituted:

     (i)    employee protocols on how to monitor for signs and symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019, including a policy for employees to report their signs and symptoms prior to entering the workplace and for employees to report when they are sick,

     (ii)   a policy on presumptive or actual positive coronavirus disease 2019 cases of any employee, guest, visitor or vendor that requires the business to suspend operations immediately for cleaning and disinfection in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance prior to restarting operations;

     (iii)   an outline of its sick leave policy, including a certification of its compliance with all requirements under the State "Family Leave Act," the federal "Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993," P.L.2018, c.10 (C.34:11D-1 et seq.), and P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-25 et seq.), to the extent those laws are applicable, and any other applicable State or federal laws regarding leave;

     (iv)   a policy to ensure adequate social distancing by maintaining a distance of at least six feet between individuals, or groups of individuals, in the establishment, whether the individuals are patrons or employees, to the extent possible;

     (v)   where it is not possible to maintain a distance of six feet between individuals, a policy to erect barriers between individuals, which shall include the type of barrier utilized,

     (vi)   a limit to the number of individuals in a restroom at the same and a limit to the number of patrons that may be seated together at the same time;

     (vii)    requiring each employee to wash hands immediately after entering the building and frequently throughout the employee's shift;

     (viii) the installation of hand-sanitizer dispensers or stations at the entrance of the establishment and in areas throughout the establishment for employees and patrons to be used for hand hygiene in addition to soap and water in restrooms;

     (ix)   requiring masks for all employees when employees are in direct contact with patrons, making masks available to all employees at no cost to the employees, and requiring masks be worn by all patrons until drinks or meals arrive at the table;

     (x)   ventilation protocols that include the maintenance of all building systems and an ongoing assessment of the amount of fresh air and air recirculation in the establishment, and ensuring that ventilation systems are being properly used;

     (xi)  cleaning and disinfection protocols that identify who is cleaning and disinfecting if there is a presumptive or positive case of coronavirus disease 2019, require that there will be frequent cleaning and disinfecting of all food surfaces, including but not limited to, equipment, including restrooms, high touch areas, meeting rooms, host stations, railings, credit card readers, counters, and menus, and require that tables, chairs, and other shared items will be cleaned and disinfected after each use;

     (xii) signage protocols to inform customers to remain at least six feet apart while in the establishment, and signage at the entrance with the certification that the establishment has met the requirements of the bill is allowed to serve patrons at 50 percent capacity; and

     (xiii) communication and training protocols to ensure that all employees have access to the preparedness plan required under the bill and that all employees are properly trained to comply with the preparedness plan.

     In addition, each establishment is required to certify to the county board of health in which the restaurant is located that the establishment has:

     (i)    Installed barriers of plexi-glass, plastic, or some other material that has been approved by the commissioner between each table;

     (ii)   Limited parties dining together 10 or fewer individuals;

     (iii) provided the county board of health with information on the restaurant's capacity at 100 percent, 50 percent, and 25 percent; and

     (iv)  Where there is a presumptive positive or positive case of an employee, guest, visitor, or vendor, shut down immediately to disinfect, notify the county board of health and all employees, guests, visitors, or vendors, while adhering to all confidentiality requirements in accordance with the federal "Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990" (42 U.S.C. s.12101 et seq.) and any other applicable laws pertaining to privacy or confidentiality of medical information.

     If a region's activity level of coronavirus disease 2019 increases above moderate as determined in the Department of Health's "Covid-19 Activity Report," all establishments within the region are required to decrease their indoor operations to a maximum of 25 percent capacity of the establishment's capacity.

     Any person may report a suspected violation of the bill to the county board of health.  The county board of health to which the violation was reported will investigate the alleged violation. If it is determined that the establishment violated the provisions of the bill, the county board of health will have the discretion to reduce the capacity of the establishment to 25 percent until the violation is remediated to the satisfaction of the county board of health.

     Nothing in this bill will be construed to relieve an establishment of any requirement established by any other law or regulation.

     The bill provides that the Commissioner of Health, in consultation with the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development, will establish rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this bill.

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