Outdoor dining in New Jersey looks like it's here to stay, at least until next Spring (at the earliest).

With many restaurants and bars depending on being able to serve alcohol in their outdoor dining areas during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, it was just announced today that the permits to do so will now be good for nearly another 6-months.

According to NJ.com, in his Monday COVID-19 briefing, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said that the state will extend the special permitting period that allows bars and restaurants to serve alcoholic beverages outdoors through at least the end of March 2021.

Back in June, the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control had started allowing restaurants and bars to apply for the permits to sell alcohol outside, a practice that is normally much more restricted, through the end of this November.

But, with no clear end in sight for COVID-19 safety measures and restrictions across the country, NJ.com reports that Governor Murphy said that, “Given the current uncertainty, extending these permits is the right thing to do.”

As we all remember, restaurants and bars were closed altogether at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, with outdoor dining being allowed as summer began.

Indoor dining was originally set to return in July with capacity limits, but continuing COVID-19 activity put those plans on pause until just a few weeks ago.

The extension of allowing outdoor alcohol sales through at least March 2021 will allow restaurants to continue to sell some of the menu items that have among the biggest profit margins outside for at least a few more months.

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