Large Newark venues like Prudential Center, NJPAC should make vaccines mandatory for patrons, mayor says

Posted May 21, 2021

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka signed an executive order Thursday that requested large indoor and outdoor venues like the Prudential Center and New Jersey Performing Arts Center to require coronavirus vaccinations for patrons.

There was no information in the executive order that outlined how venues should set up or enforce those policies. Officials at the Prudential Center did not immediately respond to request for comment Friday and a New Jersey Performing Arts Center official declined to comment.

“Large indoor and outdoor venues such as NJPAC and the Prudential Arena are requested to implement a mandatory vaccine policy prior to any patron entering the building,” the executive order read.

The New Jersey Performing Arts Center will start to have socially distanced shows in June and previously said patrons will need to have proof of a vaccine or a negative COVID test before entering. The Devils started allowing a limited number of fans back to the arena in March.

Gov. Phil Murphy has not required venues to implement vaccination policies for venues.

Some venues in New York, like Citi Field, have seating sections specifically for vaccinated guests. Citi Field announced guests will no longer be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test starting May 24.

The mayor’s executive order mostly laid out guidelines for local restaurants in the city. Indoor dining can now remain open until 2 a.m. after the mayor required those businesses to close at 10 p.m. on weekdays and 11 p.m. on weekends.

Outdoor dining areas may remain open until midnight, but music cannot be played after 10 p.m.

“As we continue to see a decline in Newark’s COVID-19 positivity rate and an increase in residents being vaccinated,” said Baraka, “it’s important for our restaurants and businesses to be provided with additional opportunity to help stimulate the economy, while having the proper structures in place to ensure our residents’ safety.”

Baraka’s order also allows for restaurants to apply for permits to convert curbside parking spaces into outdoor “streateries.” Parklets, which utilize a portion of sidewalk and parking, may also be built once the proper permits are obtained.

Street sweeping rules must be observed for the streateries.

Business owners will have to pay the Newark Parking Authority $12.50 per day for each metered space if they are used in the design plans, the mayor’s order said. If design plans call for the removal of a meter, the business owner will have to pay up to $1,000 to cover the costs for equipment and labor.

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published this page in News and Politics 2021-05-22 03:56:32 -0700