COVID-19 restrictions: Capacity limits boosted at many New Jersey businesses

CINNAMINSON, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Capacity limits increased Friday morning at many New Jersey businesses as COVID-19 restrictions eased across the state.

At Cinnaminson Diner, plexiglass divides booths, customers are spaced out, sanitizer sits on tables, and outdoor seating will return with the warmer weather.

Customers were inside at 6 a.m. ordering breakfast as the order took effect.

"It's huge. It makes a difference because the more people you have, the more customers you have, the more turnover you have, the more money you make," said waiter Karen Branin, who has been with the diner for three years.

Restaurants, recreational and amusement venues, including casinos, gyms and fitness clubs, barbershops, salons, and other personal care businesses can start operating with 50% indoor capacity, up from 35%.

"I mean it's a good thing. It shows that there's a light at the end of the tunnel," said Cinnaminson Diner customer Jeff Schaffer of Willingboro.

At Max Fitness in Mount Laurel, people hit the gym early.

Owner Eric Hailey said he's thrilled with each incremental increase in capacity.

"We kind of slowed down with the promotion because we didn't know how many people we could have in, and we stayed with the clients we already had. Now, we can up our traffic on our website, promote on social media," Hailey said.

The gym has fitness routines to keep you healthy, as well as cleaning routines. He's now seeing more members return.

"We see a lot of people that were a little hesitant before now starting to reach out," Hailey said.

Also, outdoor interstate youth competitions are allowed to resume Friday with up to two parents or guardians as spectators per athlete.

The prohibition on indoor sports competitions remains in effect.

Indoor and outdoor gathering limits went up as of Friday.

Outdoor gatherings can also climb to a 50-person capacity, up from 25. The 25-person limit didn't apply to weddings, church services, or political events, among a few others.
Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.