FREEHOLD, NJ – Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) today renewed his call for Governor Phil Murphy to remove the 10 p.m. indoor dining curfew.
“Our restaurants have been suffering massive economic hits since March with seemingly no end in sight to 25% capacity restrictions and the 10 p.m. indoor dining curfew. But time and again the industry has proven that they are not the nexus for new COVID-19 outbreaks,” said O’Scanlon. “Restaurants as a whole have followed the rules and restrictions laid out for them, they’ve endeavored to make their establishments as safe as possible to protect their patrons and staff. They deserve an increase in capacity to 50% (at 25% now) and the removal of the curfew evidenced by the lack of outbreaks traced back to restaurants.”
In early November the administration signed an executive order barring restaurants, bars, and other establishments from operating indoor dining between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
“We need to take this action before the Super Bowl. Possibly throwing diners out during the 4th quarter is sure to cause many who might have gone to an establishment to watch the game–to stay home or go to an unregulated, large house party instead. The exact opposite of what we should be encouraging right now. If you look at the metrics of the other northeast states, there is no correlation overall for the 25-50% capacity and number of cases. Even with our business killing, draconian 25% limit we fare no better than our surrounding northeast states from a health perspective.”
O’Scanlon has been an outspoken critic of the Governor’s continued imposition of 25% indoor dining capacity along with the 10 p.m. curfew.
“As we’ve said time and again, we should be encouraging people to go to restaurants that have ventilation and safety measures in place instead of congregating in large groups in private house settings. We have a consistent record in the state of stabilizing our rate of transmission and further, of contact tracing that shows definitively that restaurants are not the source of new outbreaks. They have been struggling for months, patiently implementing new safety protocols and complying with the administration’s executive orders. If anyone has proven they are deserving–and capable–of some safe restriction removal, it’s this industry.”