New Jersey's 25th Legislative District

Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Bucco Legislation Making it Easier for Restaurants to Use Heaters and Tents During Pandemic Clears Committee

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony M. Bucco that would establish statewide standards for the use of heaters and tents by restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic was advanced by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.

Legislation sponsored by Sen. Tony Bucco that would establish statewide standards for the use of heaters and tents by restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic was approved by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee. (SenateNJ.com)

“Throughout this pandemic, restaurant owners have been frustrated with the ever-changing COVID protocols, particularly with those concerning outdoor dining in tents—which even seemed to vary by county or municipality,” said Bucco (R-25). “My legislation will establish statewide standards that will make it much easier, and far less complex, for our small business owners to facilitate outdoor dining.”

The bill, S-3316, simplifies the process for restaurant owners who would like to use heaters and tents during the pandemic by creating universal, statewide standards. These requirements and standards will allow restaurants to continue to serve patrons through the cold fall, winter, and early spring months.

Standards for tents and heaters include, but are not limited to the following:

  • A tent shall be constructed of fire-retardant material;
  • No cooking or warming of food shall be performed under a tent;
  • At least one fire extinguisher shall be present inside the tent;
  • All heating units shall be placed on a stable base; and
  • An enclosed tent with heating devices inside shall have prominently marked entrances and exits.

“Individuals in the restaurant industry deserve to have clear, concise guidance for tents and heaters,” added Bucco. “And although it is currently spring in New Jersey, this legislation will help us prepare for the future should we ever have another public health emergency.”

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