TOMS RIVER, NJ – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has announced that on February 5th, science has dictated that the ridiculous 10 pm indoor dining curfew imposed against bars and restaurants will come to an end. At that time, restaurants will also be able to provide indoor dining at 35% of maximum capacity.
“Today, I will be signing an executive order that will carefully and responsibly increase indoor capacities at a number of our businesses and venues from 25% to 35%,” Murphy said. “I feel comfortable in signing this order because of the recent trends in our hospitals and our rate of transmission.”
Under the existing curfew and restrictions against small businesses imposed by the Murphy Administration, restaurants, bars, clubs, lounges, and other businesses that serve food or drinks are not able to operate their indoor premises between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. Outdoor dining can continue after 10:00 p.m., as can takeout and delivery services. Casinos are not able to serve food or drinks between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., with the exception of room service delivered to guest rooms and takeout. Other casino operations would be unaffected.
Murphy said his agencies will continue scrutinizing compliance by small businesses. Murphy said local restrictions may trump his executive order.
The governor credited citizen compliance for the reason this action can be taken.
Murphy cautioned that should the South African, Brazilian or UK variants of the COVID-19 virus emerge, that could set reopening the state back.
Murphy said the indoor bar seating prohibition will remain unchanged. Under that prohibition, seating at the physical bar in the indoor areas of bars and restaurants will continue to be prohibited during all operating hours.
The executive order will also increase capacity for indoor entertainment, barbershops, and salons.
“We take this step today because the data says we can,” Murphy added.”When you’re inside and taking your mask off to eat and drink, you are taking a risk.”