New Jersey businesses prepare ahead of Friday's indoor capacity expansion

MOORESTOWN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- At 8:00 a.m. Friday, gyms, salons, casinos and restaurants in New Jersey may increase their indoor capacity from 25% to 35%.

At Planet Fitness in Moorestown, they say the 10% capacity bump will help, especially in the cold weather when they often reach capacity.

"If we need to, we do form lines outside, obviously that's harder in the winter months. So, 35% is really great," said Director of Operations Alex Merlo.

Gym member Jordayn Wilburn said 35% is okay, but she wouldn't feel comfortable with much more than that.

"Definitely gyms at this capacity is really really good but definitely no more than 35%," said Wilburn.

Gov. Phil Murphy announced the new measures on Wednesday, saying the recent trends in hospitalizations and transmission rates are promising.

Indoor dining, salons, and casinos may increase capacity to 35%.

Performance venues can also go up to 35%, but with a limit of 150 people.

So, for the Landis Theater in Vineland, it doesn't change the total number of people inside.

But Murphy is also lifting the 10:00 p.m. curfew on indoor eating and drinking, which make a difference for the small concert venue.

"We'll take what we can get," said co-owner Kaycee Zelkovsky. "And if we can do intermission and make a little bit of money on the alcohol sales and boost that a little bit, that's huge for us."

"We're not making a lot of money off of tickets, so it is the concessions that are kind of paying the bills at the moment," said co-owner Raymond Mamrak.

The loosening of restrictions comes as more vaccines are administered throughout New Jersey.

The Camden County vaccination clinic reached 10,000 shots given Thursday morning. The milestone shot went to Mike McGee, 72, who has already battled COVID-19.

"It's a choice, you either get the vaccine or get the virus. And the virus is no fun," said McGee.
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